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The Tatler 

No. 1. Tuesday, April 12, 1Y09. SteeU . 

No. 11. Thursday, May 6, 1709. SteeU . 

No. 25. Tuesday, June 7, 1709. Steele 

No. 41. Tuesday, July 14, 1709. Steele . 

No. 42. Saturday, July 16, 1709. Steele . 

No. 132. Saturday, February 11, 1709-10. Steele 

No. 155. Thursday, April 6, 1710. Addison . 

No. 158. Thursday, April 13, 1710. Addison . 

No. 161. Thursday, April 20, 1710. Addison . 

No. 163. Tuesday, April 25, 1710. Addison . 

No. 181. Tuesday, June 6, 1710. Steele 

No. 229. Tuesday, September 26, 1710. Addison 

No. 249. Saturday, November 11, 1710. Addison 

No. 271. Tuesday, January 2, 1710. Steele . 

The Spectator 

No. 1. Thursday, March 1, 1711. Addison . 

No. 2. Friday, March 2, 1711. Steele . 

No. 3. Saturday, March 3, 1711. Addison . 

No. 7. Thursday, March 8, 1711. Addison . 

No. 10. Monday, March 12, 1711. Addison . 

No. 13. Thursday, March 15, 1711. Addison . 

No. 28. Monday, April 2, 1711. Addison . 


The Spectator (Continued) 

No. 35. Tuesday, April 10, 1711. Addison . . 76 

Wednesday, March 7, 1711. Steele . . 80 

Saturday, March 10, 1710-11. Addison . 84 

Tuesday, March 20, 1710-11. Steele . . 88 

Wednesday, March 21, 1710-11. Addison 92 

Friday, March 20, 1711. Addison . • 96 

Wednesday, April 4, 1711. Steele . . 100 

Monday, April 9, 1917. Addison . . 103 

Thursday, April 12, 1711. Addison . . (l07. 

Saturday, April 14, 1711. Addison . . Ill 

Wednesday, April 18, 1711. Addison . 115 

Friday, April 20, 1711. Addison . . 118 

Tuesday, April 24, 1711. Addison . . 124 

Thursday, April 26, 1711. Steele . . 128 

Tuesday, May 8, 1711. Addison . . 131 

Wednesday, May 9, 1711. Addison . . 136 

Thursday, May 10, 1711. Addison . . 141 

Wednesday, May 16, 1711. Steele . . 144 

Monday, May 21, 1711. Addison . • 148 

Wednesday, May 23, 1711. Addison . . 154 

Friday, May 25, 1711. Addison . . 157 

Saturday, June 2, 1711. Addison . . 163 

Friday, June 22, 1711. Addison . . 167 

Monday, July 2, 1711. Addison . . 171 

Tuesday, July 3, 1711. Steele ... 175 

Wednesday, July 4, 1711. Addison . . 178 

Thursday, July 5, 1711. Steele ... 181 

Friday, July 6, 1711. Addison ... 185 













































No. 106. 

No. 107. 

No. 108.' 

No. 109. 

No. 110. 


The Spectator (Continued) p^^j. 

No. 112. Monday, July 9, 1711. Addison . . 189 

No. 113. Tuesday, July 10, 1711. Steele ... 192 

No. 114. Wednesday, July 11, 1711. Steele . . 197 

No. 115. Thursday, July 12, 1711. Addison . . 201 

No. 116. Friday, July 13, 1711. Addison . . 204 

No. 117. Saturday, July 14, 1711. Addison . . 210 

No. 118. Monday, July 16, 1711. Steele ... 213 

No. 119. Tuesday, July 17, 1711. Addison . . 217 

No. 120. Wednesday, July 18, 1711. Addison . 220 

No. 122. Friday, July 20, 1711. Addison . . 224 

No. 123. Saturday, July 21, 1711. Addison . . 228 

No. 125. Tuesday, July 24, 1711. Addison . . 233 

No. 126. Wednesday, July 25, 1711. Addison . 237 

No. 127. Thursday, July 26, 1711. Addison . . 241 

No. 130. Monday, July 30, 1711. Addison . . 244 

No. 131. Tuesday, July 31, 1711. Addison . . 248 

No. 132. Wednesday, August 1, 1711. Steele . 251 

No. 135. Saturday, August 4, 1711. Addison . 255 

No. 159. Saturday, September 1, 1711. Addison . 259 

No. 165. Saturday, September 8, 1711. Addison . 264 

No. 170. Friday, September 14, 1711. Addison . 267 

No. 174. Wednesday, September 19, 1711. Steele . 273 

No. 235. Thursday, November 29, 1711. Addison . 277 

No. 251. Tuesday, December 18, 1711. Addison . 281 

No. 269. Tuesday, January 8, 1711-12. Addison . 285 

- No. 275. Tuesday, January 15, 1711-12. Addison . 28^/ 

No. 280. Monday, January 21, 1711-12. Steele . 292 ^ 

No. 281. Tuesday, January 22, 1711-12. Addison . 296 


The Spectator (Continued) „,^„ 


No. 295. Thursday, February 7, 1711-12. Addison 296 

No. 317. Tuesday, March 4, 1712. Addison 

No. 323. Tuesday, March 11, 1712. Addison . 

No. 329. Tuesday, March 18, 1711-12. Addison 

No. 335. Tuesday, March 25, 1712. Addison . 

' No. 383. Tuesday, May 20, 1712. Addison . 

No. 517. Thursday, October 23, 1712. Addison 


The Freeholder 

No. 22. Monday, March 5, 1716. Addison . . 327 

No. 44. Monday, May 21, 1716. Addison . . 332 

No. 45. Friday, May 25, 1716. Addison . . 336 

No. 47. Friday, June 1, 1716. Addison . . 340 


The eyes of readers of the first number of the Tatler 
on April 12th, 1709, fell upon a line from Juvenal, 

"Quicquid agunt homines — 
nostri est farrago libelli," 

which may be freely translated, 

"Whatever men do, or say, or think, or dream, 
Our motley paper seizes for its theme." 

A little farther down the page came this satisfying 
passage, "which shall be the end and purpose of this my 
paper, wherein I shall, from time to time report and 
consider all matters of what kind so ever that shall occur 
to me, and publish such my advices and reflections every 
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the week, for the 
convenience of the Post." And so on, as may be read in 
that memorable first number. 

Here was something to delight the reader of that 
democratic century. And it came almost as a prophecy of 
the kind of prose, which would ever characterize the 
century that was about to produce the personal essay, 
the novel and the best letter-writers of which England 
has record. 

Within the scope of a brief introduction, it would be 
impossible to set forth completely the causes which led 
to the first number of the Tatler, or even to sketch the 
outline of the lives of the two men, who carried it 
through and inaugurated its more famous successor, the 
Spectator. Perhaps it is better so, for nothing reveals 
so clearly the interesting life of the time as the pages 


of the Tatler and Spectator themselves. We shall con- 
sider our part well performed if we can but introduce 
some sympathetic reader to pages which picture so graphs 
ically the doings and manners and tastes of an era which 
seems more nearly modern than any period besides our 

However, convention requires that we set down, if only 
for the sake of reference, the outstanding facts in the 
lives of Steele and Addison and the incidents which led 
to the successful venture in the field of a new form of 
prose expression. Eichard Steele was bom in Dublin in 
1672, of English parents and was educated at the Charter- 
house, where Addison was at the same time a pupil. In 
1690 he matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, but, 
without taking a degree, left college and entered the 
army as a cadet. Later he obtained the rank of captain 
and was ever afterward familiarly known as Captain 
Steele. Between 1701 and 1722, he wrote several plays, 
"The Christian Hero,'' "The Funeral," "The Lying 
Lover,'' "The Tender Husband," and "The Conscious 
Lovers," chiefly noteworthy to-day for their prevailing 
dullness and mawkish sentimentality. For a time Steele 
held a seat in Parliament, served as manager of Drury 
Lane and as Commissioner in Scotland. Nevertheless, 
throughout his life Steele was at war with fortune. His 
hopefulness was inexhaustible, but he seemed to learn no 
lesson from experience and his recklessness brought upon 
himself innumerable embarrassments and upon his family 
want of the common necessities of food and lodging. Of 
his most famous contributions, the Tatler and the Spec- 
tator, a brief account will be found a little farther on 
in this introduction. In 1718, Steele lost his wife, whom 
he loved ardently, and some years afterwards his only 
remaining son. Broken in health and fortune, he retired 
to his property in Wales and died there in 1729, at the 
age of fifty-seven. 

Joseph Addison was born in 1672, the same year as 
Steele, at Milston, in Wiltshire. He was educated at 


the Charterhouse, where he entered upon his memorable 
friendship with Steele. Thence in 1687, at the age of 
fifteen, he went to Queens College, Oxford. A few months 
later, on account of his Latin verses, he gained a scholar- 
ship at Magdalen, of which college later he became a 
fellow. A pension of £300 a year enabled him to travel 
in order that, by gaining a knowledge of French and 
Italian, he might be fitted for the diplomatic service. 
One of the best known incidents relating to English 
literature is the good fortune which befell Addison when, 
on request, he wrote "The Campaign" to celebrate the 
distinguished services of the Duke of Marlborough, at the 
Battle of Blenheim. In 1713, his play, "Cato," with its 
stately rhetoric and cold dignity, was produced and had 
a run, remarkable for those days, of thirty-five nights. 
Unlike Steele, he rose to positions of eminence in the 
State. Without much loss, his contributions to govern- 
ment and literature besides the Tatler, Spectator, and 
Guardian may be disregarded. In 1716, he married the 
Countess of Warwick. According to tradition, this union 
was not a happy one and is said to have driven Addison 
"to the consolations of the tavern.'' He died in 1719 
and was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

Although their lives spanned the same interesting 
Queen Anne period and their friendship continued almost 
unbroken from the memorable day when young Richard 
and Joseph met at the Charterhouse, nevertheless it 
would be difficult to name two contemporaries more dif- 
ferent or two whose varied characteristics proved more 
mutually helpful. To-day after two centuries, they are 
always mentioned together and students of the period 
delight in praising one to the disadvantage of the other. 
We can only be grateful that they so completely supple- 
mented each other, and each recognized and appreciated 
the qualities of the other. 

Keeping in mind the tendency of Macaulay to draw 
characters in broad lines and the disposition of Thackeray 
to give way to his most generous impulses, every student 


of Englisli literature may well profit by reading the 
descriptions which these eminent writers of the nineteenth 
century have left of their worthy predecessors in the 
eighteenth century. 

In a review of Lucy Aikin's ^T.ife of Joseph Addison,'' 
Macaulay wrote: "But, after full inquiry and impartial 
reflection, we have long been convinced that he deserved 
as much love and esteem as can be justly claimed by any 
of our infirm and erring race. Some blemishes may un- 
doubtedly be detected in his character; but the more care- 
fully it is examined, the more will it appear, to use the 
phrase of the old anatomists, sound in the noble parts, 
free from all taint of perfidy, of cowardice, of cruelty, of 
ingratitude, of envy. Men may easily be named, in whom 
some particular good disposition has been more conspicu- 
ous than in Addison. ^ But the just harmony of qualities, 
the exact temper between the stern and the humane vir- 
tues, the habitual observance of every law, not only of 
moral rectitude, but of moral grace and dignity, distin- 
guish him from all men who have been tried by equally 
strong temptations, and about whose conduct we i>ossess 
equally full information." / 

Of Steele he wrote: 

^Tffe was one of those people whom it is impossible 
either to hate or to respect. His temper was sweet, his 
affections warm, his spirits lively, his passions strong, and 
his principles weak. His life was spent in sinning and 
repenting; in inculcating what was right, and doing what 
was wrong. In speculation, he was a man of piety and 
honor ; in practise he was much of the rake and a little of 
the swindler. He was, however, so good-natured that it 
was not easy to be seriously angry with him, and that 
even rigid moralists felt more inclined to pity than to 
blame him, when he diced himself into a sponging house, 
or drank himself into a fever.^' 

In his English Humorists, Thackeray described Addi- 
son in this wise: 

"Looking at that calm fair face, and clear countenance 


— ^those chiseled features pure and cold, I can't but fancy 
that this great man — in this respect, like him of whom we 
spoke in the last lecture — ^was also one of the lonely ones 
of the world. Such men have very few equals, and they 
don't herd with those. It is in the nature of such lords 
of intellect to be solitary — they are in the world, but not 
of it — and our minor struggles, brawls, successes, pass 
under them. 

"Kind, just, serene, impartial, his fortitude not tried 
beyond easy endurance, his affections not much used, for 
his books were his family, and his society was in public; 
admirably wise, wittier, calmer, and more instructed than 
almost every man with whom he met, how could Addison 
suffer, desire, admire, feel much? I may expect a child 
to admire me for being taller or writing more cleverly 
than she ; but how can I ask my superior to say that I am 
a wonder when he knows better than I ? In Addison's days^ 
you could scarcely show him a literary performance, a 
sermon, or a poem, or a piece of literary criticism, but he 
felt he could do better. His justice must have made him 
indifferent. He didn't praise, because he measured his 
compeers by a higher standard than common people have." 

And of Steele he said : 

"The great charm of Steele's writing is its naturalness. 
He wrote so quickly and carelessly that he was forced to 
make the reader his confidant, and had not the time to 
deceive him. He had a small share of book-learning, but 
a vast acquaintance with the world. He had known men 
and taverns. He had lived with gownsmen, with troopers, 
with gentlemen ushers of the Court, with men and women 
of fashion, with authors and wits, with the inmates of 
the sponging-houses, and with the frequenters of all the 
clubs and coffee-houses in the town. He was liked in all 
company because he liked it; and you like to see his en- 
joyment as you like to see the glee of a boxful of children 
at the pantomime. He was not of those lonely ones of the 
earth whose greatness obliged them to be solitary; on the 
contrary, he admired, I think, more than any man who 


ever wrote; and full of hearty applause and sympathy, 
wins upon you by calling you to share his delight and 
good-humor. His laugh rings through the whole house. 
He must have been invaluable at a tragedy, and have 
cried as much as the most tender young lady in the 
boxes. He has a relish for beauty and goodness wherever 
he meets it. He admired Shakespeare affectionately, and 
more than any man of his time: and according to his 
generous expansive nature, called upon all his company 
to like what he liked himself. He did not damn with faint 
praise: he was in the world and of it; and his enjoyment 
of life presents the strangest contrast to Swift's savage 
indignation and Addison's lonely serenity." 

For an understanding of the years of the reign of 
Queen Anne we have no better source of information than 
the Tatler and the Spectator, and, conversely, if we wish 
to read intelligently the pages of those interesting maga- 
zines, we should try to know something of the social and 
political history of the period. Let us at the outset re- 
member that what we call modern civilization was new 
then, that all the particulars which make life comfort- 
able to-day were either not known then or were as new 
as the telephone or the automobile are to us. And we 
have this advantage, that we are accustomed to inventions 
and that new wonders soon become commonplace to us. 

London was, even more than to-day, the center of En- 
glish life, politically and socially. The city was a me- 
tropolis very different in size, as well as in many other 
of its characteristic qualities, from the London of our 
day. Many of the outlying districts were then divided 
from the city by wide expanses of meadows and gardens. 
The streets were ill-kept, insufficiently lighted at night, 
infested by bands of ruffians, who often committed brutal 
assaults on unoffending people, whom they met in the 
street. It was not until 1736 that anything in the way 
of street-lighting was at all common. The ordinary 
hackney-coach was a jolting, uncomfortable vehicle, sel- 
dom furnished with lamps. The sedan-chair was be- 



coming a regular institution, and the "chair/' as it was 
soon called, came to have something of the popularity of 
the modern taxicab. There was no regularly organized 
police force to guard the metropolis or regulate the street 
traffic. Although we may well believe that common report 
grossly exaggerated the individual acts of ruffianism and 
barbarity, yet it is beyond doubt that the night life of 
London often witnessed scenes which would have been 
a disgrace even in a less civilized era. The age was in 
many ways gross, but it was working with all possible 
zeal for better things and it sought aid from every di- 

The reader who likes to know something of the past 
will soon discover that in the Queen Anne period there 
was an institution which, although it had existed before 
the eighteenth century, flourished with great variety in 
that time when social intercourse was the supreme object 
of existence, namely, the coffee-house. Everywhere in 
the city sprang up these public houses, which welcomed 
anybody who could pay the price of a cup of coffee, 
usually a penny. Hither came the men of London of all 
classes and professions, each group attracted to its own 
house. A particular coffee-house came to be known as 
the seat of some worthy master. Dryden held forth at 
Will's, Addison at Button's, the Whigs met at St. James, 
the Tories at the Chocolate House or the Cocoa Tree, 
the merchants at Jonathan's, the scholars at the Grecian, 
and so on, ad infinitum. The coffee-house was so much 
the center of the social, political and literary life of the 
age that we may largely credit to it not only the origin 
of such magazines as the Tatler and Spectator but also 
the movement towards a broadening of intelligence and 
an extension of democratic principles and practises. 
There men gathered for talk and discussion and England 
never produced better talkers than from 1700 to 1770. 
Thus it came about that the literary life could scarcely be 
lived at all away from London with its politics and varied 
discussion, and hardly any great author was to be found 


working in solitude. The writing of every author of 
the time shows how the city atmosphere told upon litera- 
ture itself, determining its form, enlivening its spirit, 
giving it intelligibility and virility. So poetical expres- 
sion became prosaic and prose became perfect. 

A word of the forerunners of the Tatler may not be out 
of place here. Toward the close of the seventeenth cen- 
.tury, there were published occasional pamphlets, giving 
accounts of extraordinary events. The first daily news- 
paper. The Daily Courant, was begun in 1702, and lasted 
until 1735. This was simply news sheets. In 1690 John 
Dunton commenced the Athenian Mercury in which ques- 
tions, put to the editor by his readers, were answered. 
This continued until 1711. However, the only paper which 
had any real influence on the formation of the Tatler 
was Defoe's Review, which first appeared in 1704 and 
continued until 1713. As stated by Defoe, its object was 
"to set the affairs of Europe in a clearer light, to form a 
complete history of France and to pursue truth, regard- 
less of party." The Review was very popular. During 
its existence, it was greatly changed both as to title and 
content. It treated of political and economic questions 
in a simple and practical way quite new, with frequent 
observations on the follies and vices of the time. In itself 
it would never have commanded the attention or respect 
of future centuries but it may to-day be recognized as a 
possible precursor of the more popular periodicals, which 
soon appeared. 

Tradition furnishes us with pleasing accounts of the 
origin of the Tatler, but, if we knew the truth, we should 
probably find that the conception of the Tatler was, like 
most inventions, the combination of several circumstances 
which were just waiting for the proper hand to fix them 
into a definite mould. The first number of the Tatler 
appeared on Tuesday, April 12th, 1709, and was published 
on post days, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The 
ordinary copies, consisting of one folio leaf, were sold at 
one penny, but after the 25th number, copies were printed 


with a sheet left blank for correspondence; for these a 
charge of three halfpence was made. The first four num- 
bers were given away. The last number of the Tatler 
appeared January 2, 1711. Of the 271 numbers, Steele 
wrote 188, Addison 42, and about 36 were written by 
them together. Even Addison was not aware of the 
author of the Tatler until he read in the sixth number 
some remarks on Vergil, which he remembered as the re- 
sult of a discussion, which he had had with Steele years 
before. Addison's first contribution was the eighteenth. 
Swift wrote one entire paper and a few letters and short 
articles. The contributions from others were almost 

For any one unacquainted with the purpose and con- 
tents of the Tatler, the best method is to read the papers 
themselves. It was published, as Steele said, "for the use 
of the good people of England." The tastes of all classes 
were to be considered and the nature of the topic was 
indicated by the name of the place from which the article 
was supposed to have come, as may be seen in the first 
number. The early papers contained short contributions 
from several of these addresses, but, as the periodical 
progressed, it became more usual to confine the number 
to one subject and the article of news dropped out en- 
tirely. It was a new note to have Steele define his rela- 
tion to the people in these words, 'We have all along 
informed the public that we intend to give them our 
advice for our own sakes, and are laboring to make our 
lucubrations come to some price in money, for our more 
convenient support in the service of the public." 

The aim in spirit and content of the enterprise could 
scarcely be better stated than in the characteristic sen- 
tence where he refers to a letter of a country correspond- 
ent, "As for my labors, which he is pleased to inquire 
after, if they but wear one impertinence out of human 
life, destroy a single vice, or give a morning's cheerful- 
ness to an honest mind ; in short, if the world can be but 
one virtue the better, or in any degree less vicious, or 


receive from them the smallest addition to their innocent 
diversions, I shall not think my pains, or indeed my life 
to have been spent in vain/^ 

The first number of the Spectator appeared on March 
1, 1711, with this announcement, "To be continued every 
day,'' and the pledge was kept until December 6th, 1712. 
Addison revived the paper for a time in 1714, but in that 
continuation Steele had no share. Of the 555 numbers, 
Addison wrote 274, Steele 236, leaving 45 for Budgell, 
Hughes, Pope, and a few occasional contributors. The 
purpose, which was constantly kept to the front, may be 
read in the first number. 

Addison was at his best in the Spectator, while Steele 
found in the T a tier opportunity for the sense of freedom 
and freshness, which were lacking in the more stately 
successor. The remarkable achievement was that with 
two such different personalities the two men were able to 
fashion a work which would allow full scope to the activi- 
ties and capabilities of each and would together redound to 
the fame of both. It is pleasing to hear Steele say, "I 
remember when I finished the ^Tender Husband,' I told 
him there was nothing I so ardently wished as that we 
might at some time or other publish a work written by us 
both, which should bear the name of The Monument,' in 
memory of our friendship." 

The Tatler had started the fashion; the Spectator 
profited by that popularity and its fame spread rapidly 
and widely. Everybody who pretended to be or to know 
anything was expected to display an acquaintance with 
it, to quote from its essays and to argue about its dis- 
cussions. Over 20,000 copies of the paper were sometimes 
sold in a single day and we may assume that this implied 
at least 100,000 readers. This was a marvelous achieve- 
ment, properly taking a place among the greatest in- 
ventions, when we remember that there was before the 
eighteenth century nothing that can be called a reading 
public. Aside from its social and literary significance, 
the story of the Spectator forms one of the most delight- 


ful and most important chapters in English literature. 

The Tatler and Spectator may be considered as typify- 
ing, perhaps more accurately than any other work, the 
characteristics of the English people. The seventeenth 
century had witnessed one of the greatest civil tragedies, 
a clash of ideals and prejudices. The conflict of Cavaliers 
and Puritans had left its mark on English civilization. 
The king had been driven out, but the idealism of the 
Puritans had fallen into unloveliness. By 1700, the 
English race was exhausted by a century of passionate 
striving and all that seemed to be left of the idealism of 
society and letters were licentiousness and shameless 
sensuality. On the surface, however, there was a delight 
in respectability and good manners. Here was an op- 
portunity for the young moralist, Steele — he was only 
thirty-seven in 1709 — to set forth his creed in a form more 
definite and more appealing than in his plays, which had 
met only a half-hearted reception. Although the Tatler 
began as a newspaper, it was soon transformed into a 
censor of morals, which fitted well into the temper of 
the Englishman's desire for fixed standards of respect- 
ability. Soon Isaac Bickerstaff of the Tatler found his 
limitations and the Spectator essayed the censorship. 
Nothing could have been more happy than this transition 
from a rather vague figure with no well defined personal 
characteristics into the very definite observer and cor- 
rector of all the foibles common to the human race. It 
was a time for preaching. How much more palatable it 
was to have the preachment come from this nameless, shy 
and whimsical humorist than from the more formal and 
censorious theologian, incrusted with dogma! Here was 
the opportunity to reveal or conceal according to the 
caprice of the writer. The sketch of the Spectator in the 
first papers was largely fictitious but the character was 
maintained throughout with real consistency. 

The reader in our day, who for the first time happens 
upon these papers, is, indeed, to be envied. They should 
not be read as a task but should lie on the table to be 


tasted as Bacon, the first English essayist, properly sug- 
gested, day by day according to the manner of publica- 
tion. Then they will not only please but satisfy. For 
such a reader, England will live again, the country with 
its well-to-do squires, its devotees of the chase, its con- 
tented servant class living by the grace of a well estab- 
lished aristocracy. For such a reader, London will be- 
come a city of folk, gathered at the theater, in the coffee 
houses, in the streets and on the river, talking and argu- 
ing, observing and gossiping of the fads and foibles, of 
all the big and little things that make the world an inter- 
esting place in which to live. 

It is possible to make many kinds of selections from 
the varied papers that comprise the Tatler and the Spec- 
tator. This is but one, brought together, one paper here, 
another there, others more closely associated, to convey 
something of the variety and richness of the range and 
imagination of the two men who knew so well the com- 
posite life of which they formed a conspicuous part. We 
are not so much interested in passing a judgment upon 
these two distinguished men or in singling out their 
respective merits or defects. Rather we wish to leave 
them to the sympathetic curiosity of him who, to para- 
phrase the words of an eminent nineteenth century critic, 
wishes to read some of the best things that have been 
thought and said in the world. 

Will D. Howe. 
March 81, 1921. 


[Tatler No. 1. Tuesday, April 12, 1709. Steele."! 

Quicquid agunt homines v^ 

nostri est farrago libelli.^ 

-— Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.» 

Though the other papers, which are published for the 
use of the good people of England, have certainly very 
wholesome effects, and are laudable in their particular 
kinds, they do not seem to come up to the main desiga 
of such narrations, which, I humbly presume, should be 
principally intended for the use of politic persons, whe 
are so public-spirited as to neglect their own affairs to 
look into transactions of state. Now these gentlemen, 
for the most part, being persons of strong zeal, and weak 
intellects, it is both a charitable and necessary work to 
offer something, whereby such worthy and well-affected 
members of the commonwealth may be instructed, after 
their reading, what to think; which shall be the end and 
purpose of this my paper, wherein I shall, from time to 
time, report and consider all matters of what 'kind soever 
that shall occur to me, and publish such my advices and 
reflections every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the 
week, for the convenience of the post. I resolve to have 
something which may be of entertainment to the fair 
sex, in honor of whom I have invented the title of this 

^ Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream; 
Our motley Paper seizes for its theme. 


paper. I therefore earnestly desire all persons, without 
distinction, to take it in for the present gratis^ and here- 
after at the price of one penny, forbidding all hawkers 
to take more for it at their peril. And I desire all per- 
sons to consider, that I am at a very great charge for 
proper materials for this work, as well as that, before I 
resolved upon it, I had settled a correspondence in all 
parts of the known and knowing world. And forasmuch 
as this globe is not trodden upon by mere drudges of 
business only, but that men of spirit and genius are justly 
to be esteemed as considerable agents in it, we shall not, 
upon a dearth of news, present you with musty foreign 
edicts, and dull proclamations, but shall divide our rela- 
tion of the passages which occur in action or discourse 
throughout this town, as well as elsewhere, under such 
dates of places as may prepare you for the matter you are 
to expect in the following manner. 

All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment, 
shall be under the article of White's Chocolate-house ; ^ 
poetry under that of Will's Coffee-house ; ^ Learning, un- 
der the title of Grecian ; ^ foreign and domestic news, 
you will have from St. James's Coffee-house; and what 
else I have to offer on any other subject shall be dated 
from my own Apartment. 

1 once more desire my reader to consider, that as I can- 
not keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under 
two-pence each day, merely for his charges; to White's 
under six-pence ; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him 
some plain Spanish, to be as able as others at the learned 
table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even 
Kidney^ at St. James's without clean linen; I say, these 

^ White's Chocolate-house was in St. James's-street. 

2 WiU's Coffee-house was on the north-side of RusseU-street in 
Covent Garden, where the wits of that time used to assemble, 
and where Dryden had, when he lived, been accustomed to pre- 

' The Grecian was in Devereux-court in the Strand ; probably 
the most ancient coffee-house in London. In 1652 an English 
Turkey merchant brought home with him a Greek servant, who 
first opened a house for making and selling coffee. 

* Kidney was one of the waiters at St. James's Coffee-house, 


considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to 
comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is 
exhausted) of a penny apiece; especially since they are 
sure of some proper amusement, and that it is impossible 
for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides 
the force of my own parts, the power of divination, and 
that I can, by casting a figure, tell you all that will happen 
before it comes to pass. 

But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and 
speak but of few things until they are passed, for fear 
of divulging matters which may offend our superiors. 

[The Tatler. No. 11. Thursday, May 5, 1709. Steele.] 

Of all the vanities under the sun, I confess that of 
being proud of one's birth is the greatest. At the same 
time, since in this unreasonable age, by the force of pre- 
vailing custom, things in which men have no hand are 
imputed to them; and that I am used by some people, as 
if Isaac Bickerstaff, though I write myself Esquire, was 
nobody: to set the world right in that particular, I shall 
give you my genealogy, as a kinsman of ours has sent 
it from the Heralds office. It is certain, and observed by 
the wisest writers, that there are women who are not 
nicely chaste, and men not severely honest, in all families ; 
therefore let those who may be apt to raise aspersions 
upon ours, please to give us as impartial an account of 
their own, and we shall be satisfied. The business of 
heralds is a matter of so great nicety, that, to avoid mis- 
takes, I shall give you my cousin's letter verbatim, without 
altering a syllable. 

"Dear Cousin, 

"Since you have been pleased to make yourself so 
famous of late, by your ingenious writings, and some 
time ago by your learned predictions: since Partridge 
of immortal memory is dead and gone, who, poetical as 


he was, could not Tinderstand his own poetry; and philo- 
matical as he was, could not read his own destiny: since 
the Pope, the King of France, and great part of his court, 
are either literally or metaphorically defunct: since, I 
say, these things (not foretold by any one but yourself) 
have come to pass after so surprising a manner ; it is with 
no small concern I see the original of the Staffian race 
so little known in the world as it is at this time; for 
which reason, as you have employed your studies in as- 
tronomy, and the occult sciences, so I, my mother being 
a Welsh woman, dedicated mine to genealogy, particularly 
that of our own family, which, for its antiquity and num- 
ber, may challenge any in Great Britain. The Staffs are 
originally of Staffordshire, which took its name from 
them : the first that I find of the Staffs was one Jacobstaff, 
a famous and renowned astronomer, who (by Dorothy his 
wife) had issue seven sons, viz,, Bickerstaff, Longstaff, 
Wagstaff, Quarterstaff, Whitestaff, Ealstaff, and Tipstaff. 
He also had a younger brother, who was twice married, 
and had five sons, viz,. Distaff, Pikestaff, Mopstaff, Broom- 
staff, and Eaggedstaff. As for the branch from whence 
you spring, I shall say very little of it, only that it is 
the chief of the Staffs, and called Bickerstaff, qvuisi 
Biggerstaff; as much as to say, the Great Staff, or Staff 
of Staffs ; and that it has applied itself to astronomy with 
great success, after the example ol our aforesaid fore- 
father. The descendants from Longstaff, the second son, 
were a rakish disorderly set of people, and rambled from 
one place to another, until, in the time of Harry the Sec- 
ond, they settled in Kent, and were called long-tails, from 
the long-tails which were sent them as a punishment for 
the murder of Thomas-a-Becket, as the legends say. They 
have always been sought after by the ladies; but whether 
it be to show their aversion to popery, or their love to 
miracles, I cannot say. The Wagstaffs are a merry 
thoughtless sort of people, who have always been opinion- 
ated of their own wit ; they have turned themselves mostly 
to poetry. This is the most numerous branch of our 


family, and the poorest. The Quarterstaffs are most of 
them prize-fighters or deer-stealers : there have been so 
many of them hanged lately, that there are very few of 
that branch of our family left. The WhitestafFs ^ are all 
courtiers, and have had very considerable places. There 
have been some of them of that strength and dexterity, 
that five hundred ^ of the ablest men in the kingdom have 
often tugged in vain to pull a staff out of their hands. 
The Falstaffs are strangely given to whoring and drink- 
ing: there are abundance of them in and about London. 
One thing is very remarkable of this branch, and that is, 
there are just as many women as men in it. There was a 
wicked stick of wood of this name in Harry the Fourth's 
time, one Sir John Falstaff. As for Tipstaff, the young- 
est son, he was an honest fellow; but his sons, and his 
sons' sons, have all of them been the veriest rogues living : 
it is this unlucky branch that has stocked the nation with 
that swarm of lawyers, attorneys, sergeants, and bailiffs, 
with which the nation is over-run. Tipstaff, being a 
seventh son, used to cure the king's-evil; but his rascally 
descendants are so far from having that healing quality, 
that by a touch upon the shoulder they give a man such 
an ill habit of body, that he can never come abroad 
afterwards. This is all I know of the line of Jacobstaff : 
his younger brother Isaacstaff, as I told you before, had 
five sons, and was married twice : his first wife was a Staff 
(for they did not stand upon false heraldry in those days) 
by whom he had one son, who, in process of time, being a 
schoolmaster and well read in the Greek, called himself 
Distaff, or Twicestaff. He was not very rich, so he put 
his children out to trades ; and the Distaffs have ever since 
been employed in the woollen and linen manufactures, ex- 
cept myself, who am a genealogist. Pikestaff, the eldest 
son by the second venter, was a man of business, a down- 
right plodding fellow, and withal so plain, that he became 

* An allusion to the staff carried, as an ensign of his office, 
by the First Lord of the Treasury. 

* The House of Commons. 


a proverb. Most of this family are at present in the army. 
Eaggedstaff was an unlucky boy, and used to tear his 
clothes in getting birds' nests, and was always playing 
with a tame bear his father kept. Mopstaff fell in love 
with one of his father's maids, and used to help her to 
clean the house. Broomstaff was a chimney-sweeper. The 
Mopstaffs and Broomstaffs are naturally as civil people 
as ever went out of doors; but alas! if they once get 
into ill hands, they knock down all before them. Pilgrim- 
staff ran away from his friends, and went strolling about 
the country: and Pipestaff was a wine-cooper. (These 
two were the unlawful issue of Longstaff.) 

"N.B. The Canes, the Clubs, the Cudgels, the Wands, 
the Devil upon two Sticks, and one Bread, that goes by 
the name of Staff of Life, are none of our relations. 
I am. Dear Cousin, 

Your humble servant, 

D. Distaff." 

From the Heralds Office, May 1, 1709. 

[The Tatler No. 25. Tuesday, June 7, 1709. Steele.] 

A letter from a young lady, written in the most pas- 
sionate terms, wherein she laments the misfortune of a 
gentleman, her lover, who was lately wounded in a duel, 
has turned my thoughts to that subject, and inclined me 
to examine into the causes which precipitate men into 
so fatal a folly. And as it has been proposed to treat of 
subjects of gallantry in the article from hence, and no 
one point in nature is more proper to be considered by 
the company who frequent this place than that of duels, 
it is worth our consideration to examine into this chimer- 
ical groundless humor, and to lay every other thought 
aside, until we have stripped it of all its false pretences 
to credit and reputation amongst men. 

But I must confess, when I consider what I am going 
about, and run over in my imagination all the endless 


crowd of men of honor who will be offended at such a 
discourse; I am undertaking, methinks, a work worthy 
an invulnerable hero in romance, rather than a private 
gentleman with a single rapier: but as I am pretty well 
acquainted by great opportunities with the nature of man, 
and know of a truth that all men fight against their will, 
the danger vanishes, and resolution rises upon this sub- 
ject. For this reason, I shall talk very freely on a custom 
which all men wish exploded, though no man has courage 
enough to resist it. 

But there is one unintelligible word, which I fear will 
extremely perplex my dissertation, and I confess to you 
I find very hard to explain, which is the term "satisfac- 
tion.'' An honest country gentleman had the misfortune 
to fall into company with two or three modern men of 
honor, where he happened to be very ill-treated; and one 
of the company, being conscious of his offense, sends a 
note to him in the morning, and tells him, he was ready 
to give him satisfaction. "This is fine doing,'' says the 
plain fellow; "last night he sent me away cursedly out 
of humor, and this morning he fancies it would be a sat- 
isfaction to be run through the body." 

As the matter at present stands, it is not to do hand- 
some actions denominates a man of honor ; it is enough if 
he dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a com- 
mon sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first 
rank; though all mankind is convinced, that a fighting 
gamester is only a pickpocket with the courage of an 
highwayman. One cannot with any patience reflect on 
the unaccountable jumble of persons and things in this 
town and nation, which occasions very frequently, that a 
brave man falls by a hand below that of a common hang- 
man, and yet his executioner escapes the clutches of the 
hangman for doing it. I shall therefore hereafter con- 
sider, how the bravest men in other ages and nations 
have behaved themselves upon such incidents as we de- 
cide by combat; and show, from their practice, that this 
resentment neither has its foundation from true reason 


or solid fame; but is an imposture, made of cowardice, 
falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a 
good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the 
public, and I apply myself to the town for particulars 
and circumstances within their knowledge, which may 
serve to embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. 
Most of the quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded 
from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, 
to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself 
from the ingenuousness of owning a mistake. 

By this means it is called ^%iving a man satisfaction," 
to urge your offense against him with your sword; which 
puts me in mind of Peter's order to the keeper, in The 
Tale of a Tub: ^^if you neglect to do all this, damn you 
and your generation for ever: and so we bid you heartily 
farewell." If the contradiction in the very terms of one 
of our challenges were as well explained and turned into 
downright English, would it not run after this manner? 

"Your extraordinary behavior last night, and the lib- 
erty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this 
morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an 
. ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde-park, an hour 
hence; and because you want both breeding and human- 
ity, I desire you would come with a pistol in your hand, 
on horseback, and endeavor to shoot me through the head, 
to teach you more manners. If you fail of doing me this 
pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal, on every post in 
town : and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall 
never forgive what you have done already. Pray, sir, 
do not fail of getting everything ready; and you will in- 
finitely oblige, sir, your most obedient humble servant, 


[The Tatlhr. No. 41. Thursday, July 14, 1709. 

Gelebrare domestica facta.* 

There is no one thing more to be lamented in our na- 
tion, than their general affectation of everything that 
is foreign; nay, we carry it so far, that we are more anx- 
ious for our own countrymen when they have crossed 
the seas, than when we see them in the same dangerous 
condition before our eyes at home: else how is it pos- 
sible, that on the twenty-ninth of the last month, there 
should have been a battle fought in our very streets of 
London, and nobody at this end of the town have heard 
of it? I protest, I, who make it my business to inquire 
after adventures, should never have known this, had 
not the following account been sent me inclosed in a 
letter. This, it seems, is the way of giving out orders 
in the Artillery-company; and they prepare for a day 
of action with so little concern, as only to call it, ^^An 
Exercise of Arms.'^ 

"An Exercise of Arms of the Artillery-company, to be 
performed on Wednesday, June the twenty-ninth, 1709, 
under the command of Sir Joseph Woolfe, knight and 
alderman, general; Charles Hopson, esquire, present sher- 
iff, lieutenant-general; Captain Richard Synge, major; 
Major John Shorey, captain of grenadiers; Captain Wil- 
liam Grayhurst, Captain John Butler, Captain Robert 
Carellis, captains. 

"The body marched from the Artillery-ground, through 
Moorgate, Coleman Street, Lothbury, Broad Street, Finch 
Lane, Cornhill, Cheapside, St. Martin's, St. Anne's Lane, 
halt the pikes under the wall in Noble Street, draw up 
the firelocks facing the Goldsmiths' Hall, make ready and 
face to the left, and fire, and so ditto three times. Beat 
to arms, and march round the hall, as up Lad Lane, 

^ "To celebrate domestic deeds." 


Gutter Lane, Honey Lane, and so wheel to the right, and 
make your salute to my lord, and so down St. Ann's 
Lane, up Aldersgate Street, Barbican, and draw up in 
Eed Cross Street, the right at St. Paul's Alley in the 
rear. March off lieutenant-general with half the body 
up Beech Lane: he sends a sub-division up King's Head 
Court, and takes post in it, and marches two divisions 
round into Eed Lion Market, to defend that pass, and 
succor the division in King's Head Court; but keeps in 
White Cross Street, facing Beech Lane, the rest of the 
body ready drawn up. Then the general marches up 
Beech Lane, is attacked, but forces the division in the 
court into the market, and enters with three divisions 
while he presses the lieutenant-general's main body; and 
at the same time the three divisions force those of the 
revolters out of the market, and so all the lieutenant-gen- 
eral's body retreats into Chiswell Street, and lodges two 
divisions in Grub Street: and as the general marches on, 
they fall on his flank, but soon made to give way: but 
have a retreating-place in Eed Lion Court, but could not 
hold it, being put to flight through Paul's Alley, and pur- 
sued by the general's grenadiers, while he marches up 
and attacks their main body, but are opposed again by a 
party of men as lay in Black Eaven Court; but they are 
forced also to retire soon in the utmost confusion, and at 
the same time, those brave divisions in Paul's Alley ply 
their rear with grenadoes, that with precipitation they 
take to the route along Bunhill Eow: so the general 
marches into the Artillery-ground, and being drawn up, 
finds the revolting party to have found entrance, and 
makes a show as if for a battle, and both armies soon 
engage in form, and fire by platoons." 

Much might be said for the improvement of this sys- 
tem; which, for its style and invention, may instruct 
generals and their historians, both in fighting a battle, 
and describing it when it is over. These elegant expres- 
sions, ''ditto — and so — ^but soon — ^but having — ^but could 
not — ^but are — ^but they — finds the party to have found," 


etc., do certainly give great life and spirit to the relation. 
Indeed, I am extremely concerned for the lieutenant- 
general, who, by his overthrow and defeat, is made a de- 
plorable instance of the fortune of war, and vicissitudes 
of human affairs. He, alas! has lost, in Beech Lane 
and Chiswell Street, all the glory he lately gained in and 
about Holborn and St. Giles's. The art of subdividing 
first, and dividing afterwards, is new and surprising; and 
according to this method, the troops are disposed in 
King's Head Court and Eed Lion Market: nor is the 
conduct of these leaders less conspicuous in their choice 
of the ground or field of battle. Happy was it, that the 
greatest part of the achievements of this day was to be 
performed near Grub Street, that there might not be 
wanting a sufficient number of faithful historians, who 
being eye-witnesses of these wonders, should impartially 
transmit them to posterity! But then it can never be 
enough regretted, that we are left in the dark as to the 
name and title of that extraordinary hero, who com- 
manded the divisions in Paul's Alley; especially because 
those divisions are justly styled brave, and accordingly 
were to push the enemy along Bunhill Bow, and thereby 
occasion a general battle. But Pallas appeared in the 
form of a shower of rain, and prevented the slaughter 
and desolation, which were threatened by these extraor- 
dinary preparations. 

Hi motus animorum, atque haec certamina tanta 
Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt. 

"Yet all those dreadful deeds, this doubtful fray, 
A cast of scatter'd dust will soon allay." 

[The Tatler No. 42. Saturday, July 16, 1709. 

It is now twelve of the clock at noon, and no mail come 
in; therefore, I am not without hopes that the town will 


allow me the liberty whicli my brother news-writers take, 
in giving them what may be for their information in 
another kind, and indulge me in doing an act of friend- 
ship, by publishing the following account of goods and 

This is to give notice, that a magnificent palace, with 
great variety of gardens, statues, and water-works, may 
be bought cheap in Drury-lane; where there are likewise 
several castles, to be disposed of, very delightfully situ- 
ated; as also groves, woods, forests, fountains, and coun- 
try-seats, with very pleasant prospects on all sides of 
them; being the movables of Christopher Rich,^ Esquire, 
who is breaking up housekeeping, and has many curious 
pieces of furniture to dispose of, which may be seen be- 
tween the hours of six and ten in the evening. 


Spirits of right Nantz brandy, for lambent flames and 

Three bottles and a half of lightning. 

One shower of snow in the whitest French paper. 

Two showers of a browner sort. 

A sea, consisting of a dozen large waves ; the tenth big* 
ger than ordinary, and a little damaged. 

A dozen and half of clouds, trimmed with black, and 

A rainbow, a little faded. 

A set of clouds after the French mode, streaked with 
lightning, and furbelowed. 

A new moon, something decayed. 

A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left 
of two hogsheads sent over last winter. 

A coach very finely gilt, and little used, with a pair of 
dragons, to be sold cheap. 

A setting-sun, a pennyworth. 

* Drury-lane playhouse was shut up about this time by a& 
order from the Lord Chamberlain. 


An imperial mantle, made for Cyrus the Great, and 
worn by Julius Cassar, Bajazet, king Harry the Eighth, 
and signor Valentini. 

A basket-hilted sword, very convenient to carry milk in. 

Eoxana's night-gown. 

Othello's handkerchief. 

The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn but once. 

A wild boar killed by Mrs. Tofts and Diocletian, 

A serpent to sting Cleopatra. 

A mustard-bowl to make thunder with. 

Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D s's ^ directions, 

little used. 

Six elbow-chairs, very expert in country-dances, with 
six flower-pots for their partners. 

The whiskers of a Turkish Pasha. 

The complexion of a murderer in a band-box; consist- 
ing of a large piece of burnt cork, and a coal-black 

A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz, a bloody shirt, a 
doublet curiously pinked, and a coat with three great 
eyelet-holes upon the breast. 

A bale of red Spanish wool. 

Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trap- 
doors, ladders of ropes, vizard-masques, and tables with 
broad carpets over them. 

Three oak-cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought 
for the use of Mr. Pinkethman.^ 

Materials for dancing; as masques, castanets, and a 
ladder of ten rounds. 

Aurengezebe's scimitar, made by Will Brown in Pic- 

A plume of feathers, never used but by (Edipus and 
the Earl of Essex. 

There are also swords, halbards, sheep-hooks, cardinals' 
hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, 

^ John Dennis, the critic. 

3 A low comedy actor and manager of a traveling company. 


a cart-wheel, an altar, an helmet, a back-piece, a breast- 
plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed baby. 

These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced 
to ; therefore our readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly- 
wind blowing for a fortnight together, generally fills every 
paper with an order of battle; when we show our martial 
skill in every line, and according to the space we have to 
fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or 
draw out company by company, and troop by troop; ever 
observing that no muster is to be made, but when the 
wind is in a cross-point, which often happens at the end 
of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed.* 
The Courant is sometimes ten deep, his ranks close: the 
Post-boy is generally in files, for greater exactness; and 
the Post-man comes down upon you rather after the 
Turkish way, sword in hand, pell-mell, without form or 
discipline; but sure to bring men enough into the field; 
and wherever they are raised, never to lose a battle for 
want of numbers. 

[The Tatler No. 132. Saturday, February 11, 1709-10. 


Habeo senectuti magnam gratiam, quae mihi sermonis avid 
itatem auxit, potionis et cibi sustulit.^ — Tull. de Sen. 

After having applied my mind with more than ordi- 
nary attention to my studies, it is my usual custom to 
relax and unbend it in the conversation of such, as are 
rather easy than shining companions. This I find par- 
ticularly necessary for me before I retire to rest, in or- 
der to draw my slumbers upon me by degrees, and fall 

^ A sneer at the ridiculous miUtary articles published in the 
newspapers of those days, irtroduced perhaps with a view to 
insinuate that the news articles in the Tatler were most to be 
relied upon of any then published. 

^ I am much beholden to old age, which has increased my 
eagerness for conversation in proportion as it has lessened my ap- 
petites of hunger and thirst. 


asleep insensibly. This is the particular use I make 
of a set of heavy honest men, with whom I have passed 
many hours with much indolence, though not with great 
pleasure. Their conversation is a kind of preparative 
for sleep: it takes the mind down from its abstractions, 
leads it into the familiar traces of thought, and lulls it 
into that state of tranquillity which is the condition of 
a thinking man, when he is but half awake. After this, 
my reader will not be surprised to hear the account, 
which I am about to give of a club of my own contempo- 
raries, among whom I pass two or three hours every eve- 
ning. This I look upon as taking my first nap before 
I go to bed. The truth of it is, I should think myself 
unjust to posterity, as well as to the society at the Trum- 
pet, of which I am a member, did not I in some part of 
my writings give an account of the persons among whom 
I have passed almost a sixth part of my time for these 
last forty years. Our club consisted originally of fif- 
teen; but, partly by the severity of the law in arbitrary 
times, and partly by the natural effects of old age, we are 
at present reduced to a third part of that number: in 
which, however, we hear this consolation, that the best 
company is said to consist of five persons. I must con- 
fess, besides the aforementioned benefit which I meet 
with in the conversation of this select society, I am not 
the less pleased with the company, in that I find myself 
the greatest wit among them, and am heard as their ora- 
cle in all points of learning and difficulty. 

Sir Jeoffrey Notch, who is the oldest of the club, has 
been in possession of the right-hand chair time out of 
mind, and is the only man among us that has the liberty 
of stirring the fire. This our foreman is a gentleman of 
an ancient family, that came to a great estate some years 
before he had discretion, and run it out in hounds, horses, 
and cock-fighting; for which reason he looks upon him- 
self as an honest, worthy gentleman, who has had mis- 
fortunes in the world, and calls every thriving man a 
pitiful upstart. 


Major Matchlock is the next senior, who served in the 
last civil wars, and has all the battles by heart. He does 
not think any action in Europe worth talking of since 
the fight of Marston Moor ; and every night tells us of his 
having been knocked off his horse at the rising of the 
London apprentices; for which he is in great esteem 
among us. 

Honest old Dick Reptile is the third of our society. 
He is a good-natured indolent man, who speaks little 
himself, but laughs at our jokes; and brings his young 
nephew along with him, a youth of eighteen years old, 
to show him good company, and give him a taste of the 
world. This young fellow sits generally silent ; but when- 
ever he opens his mouth, or laughs at anything that 
passes, he is constantly told by his uncle, after a jocular 
manner, ^^Aj, ay. Jack, you young men think us fools; 
but we old men know you are." 

The greatest wit of our company, next to myself, is a 
Bencher of the neighboring Inn, who in his youth fre- 
quented the ordinaries about Charing Cross, and pre- 
tends to have been intimate with Jack Ogle. He has 
about ten distichs of Hudibras without book, and never 
leaves the club until he has applied them all. If any 
modern wit be mentioned, or any town-frolic spoken of, 
he shakes his head at the dullness of the present age, and 
tells us a story of Jack Ogle. 

For my own part, I am esteemed among them, because 
they see I am something respected by others; though at 
the same time I understand by their behavior, that I am 
considered by them as a man of a great deal of learning, 
but no knowledge of the world; insomuch, that the Major 
sometimes, in the height of his military pride, calls me 
the Philosopher: and Sir Jeoffrey, no longer ago than 
last night, upon a dispute what day of the month it was 
then in Holland, pulled his pipe out of his mouth, and 
cried, 'What does the scholar say to it?" 

Our club meets precisely at six o'clock in the evening; 
but I did not come last night until half an hour after 


seven, by which means I escaped the battle of Naseby, 
which the Major usually begins at about three-quarters 
after six: I found also, that my good friend the Bencher 
had already spent three of his distichs; and only waited 
an opportunity to hear a sermon spoken of, that he might 
introduce the couplet where *^a stick" rhymes to "ecclesi- 
astic." At my entrance into the room, they were nam- 
ing a red petticoat and a cloak, by which I found that the 
Bencher had been diverting them with a story of Jack 

I had no sooner taken my seat, but Sir Jeoffrey, to 
show his good-will towards me, gave me a pipe of his own 
tobacco, and stirred up the fire. I look upon it as a point 
of morality, to be obliged by those who endeavor to oblige 
me; and therefore, in requital for his kindness, and to 
set the conversation a-going, I took the best occasion I 
could to put him upon telling us the story of old Gant- 
lett, which he always does with very particular concern. 
He traced up his descent on both sides for several gen- 
erations, describing his diet and manner of life, with his 
several battles, and particularly that in which he fell. 
This Gantlett was a gamecock, upon whose head the 
knight, in his youth, had won five hundred pounds, and 
lost two thousand. This naturally set the Major upon 
the account of Edge Hill fight, and ended in a duel of 
Jack Ogle's. 

Old Eeptile was extremely attentive to all that was said, 
though it was the same he had heard every night for 
these twenty years, and, upon all occasions, winked upon 
his nephew to mind what passed. 

This may suffice to give the world a taste of our inno- 
cent conversation, which we spun out until about ten of 
the clock, when my maid came with a lantern to light me 
home. I could not but reflect with myself, as I was 
going out, upon the talkative humor of old men, and the 
little figure which that part of life makes in one who 
cannot employ his natural propensity in discourses which 
would make him venerable. I must own, it makes me 


very melanclioly in company, when I hear a young man 
begin a story; and have often observed, that one of a 
quarter of an hour long in a man of five-and-twenty, 
gathers circumstances every time he tells it, until it 
grows into a long Canterbury tale of two hours by that 
time he is threescore. 

The only way of avoiding such a trifling and frivolous 
old age is, to lay up in our way to it such stores of knowl- 
edge and observation, as may make us useful and agree- 
able in our declining years. The mind of man in a long 
life will become a magazine of wisdom or folly, and will 
consequently discharge itself in something impertinent or 
improving. For which reason, as there is nothing more 
ridiculous than an old trifling story-teller, so there is 
nothing more venerable, than one who has turned his ex- 
perience to the entertainment and advantage of man- 

In short, we, who are in the last stage of life, and are 
apt to indulge ourselves in talk, ought to consider, if 
what we speak be worth being heard, and endeavor to 
make our discourse like that of Nestor, which Homer 
compares to the flowing of honey for its sweetness. 

[The Tatler No. 155. Thursday, April 6, 1710. 

Aliena negotia curat, 
Excussus propriis, — Hob. 

From my own apartment, April 5. 

There lived some years since within my neighborhood 
a very grave person, an upholsterer, who seemed a man 
of more than ordinary application to business. He was 
a very early riser, and was often abroad two or three 
hours before any of his neighbors. He had a particu- 
lar carefulness in the knitting of his brows, and a kind 
of impatience in all his motions, that plainly discovered 


he was always intent on matters of importance. Upon 
my inquiry into his life and conversation, I found him 
to be the greatest newsmonger in our quarter; that he 
rose before day to read the Post Man; and that he would 
take two or three turns to the other end of the town 
before his neighbors were up, to see if there were any 
Dutch mails come in. He had a wife and several chil- 
dren; but was much more inquisitive to know what 
passed in Poland than in his own family, and was in 
greater pain and anxiety of mind for King Augustus's 
weKare than that of his nearest relations. He looked 
extremely thin in a dearth of news, and never enjoyed 
himself in a westerly wind. This indefatigable kind of 
life was the ruin of his shop; for about the time that his 
favorite prince left the crown of Poland, he broke and 

This man and his affairs had been long out of my 
mind, till about three days ago, as I was walking in St. 
James's Park, I heard somebody at a distance hemming 
after me : and who should it be but my old neighbor the 
upholsterer? I saw he was reduced to extreme poverty, 
by certain shabby superfluities in his dress: for notwith- 
standing that it was a very sultry day for the time of 
the year, he worse a loose greatcoat and a muff, with 
a long campaign- wig out of curl; to which he had added 
the ornament of a pair of black garters buckled under the 
knee. Upon his coming up to me, I was going to inquire 
into his present circumstances; but was prevented by his 
asking me, with a whisper, Whether the last letters 
brought any accounts that one might rely upon from Ben- 
der? I told him, None that I heard of; and asked him, 
Whether he had yet married his eldest daughter? He 
told me. No. But pray, says he, tell me sincerely, what 
are your thoughts of the king of Sweden? (for though 
his wife and children were starving, I found his chief 
concern at present was for this great monarch). I told 
him, that I looked upon him as one of the first heroes 
of the age. But pray, says he, do you think there is any- 


thing in the story of his wound? and finding me sur- 
prised at the question, Nay, says he, I only propose it to 
you. I answered, that I thought there was no reason to 
doubt of it. But why in the heel, say he, more than in 
any other part of the body? Because, says I, the bullet 
chanced to light there. 

This extraordinary dialogue was no sooner ended, but 
he began to launch out into a long dissertation upon the 
affairs of the North; and after having spent some time 
on them, he told me, he was in a great perplexity how 
to reconcile the Supplement with the English Post, and 
had been just now examining what the other papers say 
upon the same subject. The Daily Courant, says he, has 
these words, "We have advices from very good hands, 
that a certain prince has some matters of great impor- 
tance under consideration." This is very mysterious; but 
the Post Boy leaves us more in the dark, for he tells us, 
"That there are private intimations of measures taken 
by a certain prince, which time will bring to light." 
Now the Post Man, says he, who used to be very clear, 
refers to the same news in these words; "The late con- 
duct of a certain prince affords great matter of specula- 
tion." This certain prince, says the upholsterer, whom 
they are all so cautious of naming, I take to be — upon 
which, though there was nobody near us, he whispered 
something in my ear which I did not hear, or think worth 
my while to make him repeat. 

We were now got to the upper end of the Mall, where 
were three or four very odd fellows sitting together upon 
the bench. These I found were all of them politicians, 
who used to sun themselves in that place every day about 
dinner-time. Observing them to be curiosities in their 
kind, and my friend's acquaintance, I sat down among 

The chief politician of the bench was a great assertor 
of paradoxes. He told us, with a seeming concern, that 
by some news he had lately read from Muscovy, it ap- 
peared to him that there was a storm gathering in the 


Black Sea, which might in time do hurt to the naval forces 
of this nation. To this he added, that for his part, he 
could not wish to see the Turk driven out of Europe, 
which he believed could not but be prejudicial to our 
woollen manufacture. He then told us, that he looked 
upon those extraordinary revolutions which had lately 
happened in these parts of the world, to have risen chiefly 
from two persons who were not much talked of ; and those, 
says he, are Prince Menzikoff, and the Duchess of Miran- 
dola. He backed his assertions with so many broken 
hints, and such a show of depth and wisdom, that we 
gave ourselves up to his opinions. 

The discourse at length fell upon a point which sel- 
dom escapes a knot of true-born Englishmen, whether in 
case of a religious war, the Protestants would not be too 
strong for the Papists? This we unanimously deter- 
mined on the Protestant side. One who sat on my right 
hand, and, as I found by his discourse, had been in the 
West Indies, assured us, that it would be a very easy 
matter for the Protestants to beat the pope at sea; and 
added, that whenever such a war does break out, it must 
turn to the good of the Leeward Islands. Upon this, one 
who sat at the end of the bench, and, as I afterwards 
found, was the geographer of the company, said, that in 
case the Papists should drive the Protestants from these 
parts of Europe, when the worst came to the worst, it 
would be impossible to beat them out of Norway and 
Greenland, provided the northern crowns hold together, 
and the Czar of Muscovy stand neuter. 

He further told us for our comfort, that there were 
vast tracts of land about the pole, inhabited neither by 
Protestants nor Papists, and of greater extent than all 
the Roman Catholic dominions in Europe. 

When we had fully discussed this point, my friend 
the upholsterer began to exert himself upon the present 
negotiations of peace, in which he deposed princes, set- 
tled the bounds of kingdoms, and balanced the power 
of Europe, with great justice and impartiality. 


I at length took my leave of the company, and was 
going away; but had not been gone thirty yards, before 
the upholsterer hemmed again after me. Upon his ad- 
vancing towards me, with a whisper, I expected to hear 
some secret piece of news, which he had not thought fit 
to communicate to the bench; but instead of that, he de- 
sired me in my ear to lend him half-a-crown. In com- 
passion to so needy a statesman, and to dissipate the con- 
fusion I found he was in, I told him, if he pleased, I 
would give him five shillings, to receive five pounds of 
him when the Great Turk was driven out of Constanti- 
nople; which he very readily accepted, but not before he 
had laid down to me the impossibility of such an event, 
as the affairs of Europe now stand. 

This paper I design for the particular benefit of those 
worthy citizens who live more in a coffee-house than in 
their shops, and whose thoughts are so taken up with the 
affairs of the allies, that they forget their customers. 

[The Tatler No. 158. Thursday, Aprh. 13, 1710. 


Faciunt nae intelligendo, ut nihil intelligant.^ — Teb. 

Tom Folio is a broker in learning, employed to get 
together good editions, and stock the libraries of great 
men. There is not a sale of books begins until Tom 
Folio is seen at the door. There is not an auction where 
his name is not heard, and that too in the very nick of 
time, in the critical moment, before the last decisive 
stroke of the hammer. There is not a subscription goes 
forward in which Tom is not privy to the first rough 
draught of the proposals; nor a catalogue printed, that 
doth not come to him wet from the press. He is an uni- 
versal scholar, so far as the title-page of all authors; 

^ While they pretend to know more than others, they know 
nothing in reality. 


knows th© manuscripts in which they were discovered, 
the editions through which they have passed, with the 
praises or censures which they have received from the 
several members of the learned world. He has a greater 
esteem for Aldus and Elzevir, than for Virgil and Hor- 
ace. If you talk of Herodotus, he breaks out into a 
panegyric upon Harry Stephens. He thinks he gives you 
an account of an author, when he tells you the subject 
he treats of, the name of the editor, and the year in 
which it was printed. Or if you draw him into farther 
particulars, he cries up the goodness of the paper, extols 
the diligence of the corrector, and is transported with 
the beauty of the letter. This he looks upon to be sound 
learning, and substantial criticism. As for those who 
talk of the fineness of style, and the justness of thought, 
or describe the brightness of any particular passages ; nay, 
though they themselves write in the genius and spirit of 
the author they admire; Tom looks upon them as men 
of superficial learning, and flashy parts. 

I had yesterday morning a visit from this learned ideot, 
for that is the light in which I consider every pedant, 
when I discovered in him some little touches of the cox- 
comb, which I had not before observed. Being very full 
of the figure which he makes in the republic of letters, 
and wonderfully satisfied with his great stock of knowl- 
edge, he gave me broad intimations, that he did not be- 
lieve in all points as his forefathers had done. He then 
communicated to me a thought of a certain author upon 
a passage of Virgil's account of the dead, which I made 
the subject of a late paper. This thought hath taken 
very much among men of Tom's pitch and understand- 
ing, though universally exploded by all that know how 
to construe Virgil, or have any relish of antiquity. Not 
to trouble my reader with it, I found, upon the whole, 
that Tom did not believe a future state of rewards and 
punishments, because ^neas, at his leaving the empire 
of the dead, passed through the gate of ivory, and not 
through that of horn. Knowing that Tom had not sense 


enough to give up an opinion which he had once received, 
that I might avoid wrangling, I told him "that Virgil 
possibly had his oversights as well as another author.'^ 
"Ah! Mr. Bickerstaff," says he, "you would have another 
opinion of him, if you would read him in Daniel Hein- 
sius's edition. I have perused him myself several times 
in that edition," continued he; "and after the strictest 
and most malicious examination, could find but two faults 
in him; one of them is in the ^neids, where there are 
two commas instead of a parenthesis; and another in the 
third Georgic, where you may find a semicolon turned 
upside down." "Perhaps," said I, "these were not Vir- 
gil's faults, but those of the transcriber." "I do not de- 
sign it," says Tom, "as a reflection on Virgil; on the con- 
trary, I know that all the manuscripts declaim against 
such a punctuation. Oh ! Mr. Bickerstaff," says he, "what 
would a man give to see one simile of Virgil writ in his 
own hand?" I asked him which was the simile he meant; 
but was answered, any simile in Virgil. He then told 
me all the secret history in the commonwealth of learn- 
ing; of modem pieces that had the names of ancient au- 
tTiors annexed to them; of all the books that were now 
writing or printing in the several parts of Europe; of 
many amendments which are made, and not yet published, 
and a thousand other particulars, which I would not have 
my memory burdened with for a Vatican. 

At length, being fully persuaded that I thoroughly ad- 
mired him, and looked upon him as a prodigy of learn- 
ing, he took his leave. I know several of Tom's class, 
who are professed admirers of Tasso, without understand- 
ing a word of Italian : and one in particular, that carries 
a Pastor Fido in his pocket, in which, I am sure, he is 
acquainted with no other beauty but the clearness of the 

There is another kind of pedant, who, with all Tom 
Eolio's impertinences, hath greater superstructures and 
embellishments of Greek and Latin; and is still more in- 
supportable than the other, in the same degree as he is 


more learned. Of this kind very often are editors, com- 
mentators, interpreters, scholiasts, and critics; and, in 
short, all men of deep learning without common sense. 
These persons set a greater value on themselves for hav- 
ing found out the meaning of a passage in Greek, than 
upon the author for having written it; nay, will allow 
the passage itself not to have any beauty in it, at the 
same time that they would be considered as the greatest 
men of the age, for having interpreted it. They will look 
with contempt on the most beautiful poems that have 
been composed by any of their contemporaries; but will 
lock themselves up in their studies for a twelvemonth to- 
gether, to correct, publish, and expound such trifles of 
antiquity, as a modern author would be contemned for. 
Men of the strictest morals, severest lives, and the grav- 
est professions, will write volumes upon an idle sonnet, 
that is originally in Greek or Latin; give editions of the 
most immoral authors; and spin out whole pages upon 
the various readings of a lewd expression. All that can 
be said in excuse for them is, that their works sufficiently 
shew they have no taste of their authors; and that what 
they do in this kind, is out of their great learning, and 
not out of any levity or lasciviousness of temper. 

A pedant of this nature is wonderfully well described 
in six lines of Boileau, with which I shall conclude his 
character : 

Un Pedant enyvre de sa vaine science, 
Tout herisse de Grec, tout bouffi d'arrogance. 
Et qui de mille auteurs retenus mot pour mot, 
Dans sa tete entassez n'a souvent fait qu'un sot, 
Croit qu'un livre fait tout, and que sans Aristote 
La raison ne voit goute, and le bon sens radote. 

Brim-full of learning see that pedant stride, 
Bristling with horrid Greek, and puff'd with pride! 
A thousand authors he in vain has read, 
And with their maxims stuff 'd his empty head; 
And thinks that, without Aristotle's rule, 
Reason is blind, and common sense a fool. 


[The Tatler No. 161. Thursday, April 20, 1710. 

Nunquam Libertas gratior extat 

Qu£Lm sub rege pio.^ 

I was walking two or three days ago in a very pleas- 
ant retirement, and amusing myself with the reading of 
that ancient and beautiful allegory, called "The Table 
of Cebes.'' I was at last so tired with my walk, that I 
sat down to rest myself upon a bench that stood in the 
midst of an agreeable shade. The music of the birds, 
that filled all the trees about me, lulled me asleep before 
I was aware of it; which was followed by a dream, that 
I impute in some measure to the foregoing author, who 
had made an impression upon my imagination, and put 
me into his own way of thinking. 

I fancied myself among the Alps, and, as it is natural 
in a dream, seemed every moment to bound from one 
summit to another, until at last, having made this airy 
progress over the tops of several mountains, I arrived 
at the very center of those broken rocks and precipices. 
I here, methought, saw a prodigious circuit of hills, that 
reached above the clouds, and encompassed a large space 
of ground, which I had a great curiosity to look into. I 
thereupon continued my former way of traveling through 
a great variety of winter scenes, until I had gained the 
top of these white mountains, which seemed another Alps 
of snow. I looked down from hence into a spacious plain, 
which was surrounded on all sides by this mound of hills, 
and which presented me with the most agreeable pros- 
pect I had ever seen. There was a greater variety of 
colors in the embroidery of the meadows, a more lively 
green in the leaves and grass, a brighter crystal in the 
streams, than what I ever met with in any other region. 

^ Never does Liberty appear more amiable than under the 
government of a pious and good prince. 


The light itself had something more shining and glori- 
ous in it, than that of which the day is made in other 
places. I was wonderfully astonished at the discovery of 
such a paradise amidst the wildness of those cold, hoary 
landskips which lay about it; but found at length, that 
this happy region was inhabited by the goddess of Lib- 
erty; whose presence softened the rigors of the climate, 
enriched the barrenness of the soil, and more than sup- 
plied the absence of the sun. The place was covered with 
a wonderful profusion of flowers, that, without being dis- 
posed into regular borders and parterres, grew promis- 
cuously ; and had a greater beauty in their natural luxuri- 
ancy and disorder, than they could have received from 
the checks and restraints of art. There was a river that 
arose out of the south side of the mountain, that by an 
infinite number of turnings and windings, seemed to visit 
every plant, and cherish the several beauties of the spring 
with which the fields abounded. After having run to and 
fro in a wonderful variety of meanders, as unwilling to 
leave so charming a place, it at last throws itself into the 
hollow of a mountain; from whence it passes under a 
long range of rocks, and at length rises in that part of 
the Alps where the inhabitants think is the first source 
of the Rhone. This river, after having made its progress 
through those free nations, stagnates in a huge lake at 
the leaving of them ; and no sooner enters into the regions 
of slavery but it runs through them with an incredible 
rapidity, and takes its shortest way to the sea. 

I descend into the happy fields that lay beneath me, 
and in the midst of them beheld the goddess sitting upon 
a throne. She had nothing to enclose her but the bounds 
of her own dominions, and nothing over her head but 
the heavens. Every glance of her eye cast a track of 
light where it fell, that revived the spring, and made all 
things smile about her. My heart grew cheerful at the 
sight of her; and as she looked upon me, I found a cer- 
tain confidence growing in me, and such an inward reso- 
lution as I never felt before that time. 


On the left-hand of the goddess sat the Genius of a 
Commonwealth, with the cap of Liberty on her head, and 
in her hand a wand, like that with which a Roman citizen 
used to give his slaves their freedom. There was some- 
thing mean and vulgar but at the same time exceeding 
bold and daring in her air; her eyes were full of fire; 
but had in them such casts of fierceness and cruelty, as 
made her appear to me rather dreadful than amiable. 
On her shoulders she wore a mantle, on which there was 
wrought a great confusion of figures. As it flew in the 
wind, I could not discern the particular design of them 
but saw wounds in the bodies of some, and agonies in the 
faces of others; and over one part of it I could read in 
letters of blood, 'The Ides of March." 

On the right-hand of the goddess was the Genius of 
Monarchy. She was clothed in the whitest ermine, and 
wore a crown of the purest gold upon her head. In her 
hand she held a scepter like that which is borne by the 
British monarchs. A couple of tame lions lay crouching 
at her feet. Her countenance had in it a very great 
majesty without and mixture of terror. Her voice was 
like the voice of an angel, filled with so much sweetness, 
accompanied with such an air of condescension, as tem- 
pered the awfulness of her appearance, and equally, in- 
spired love and veneration into the hearts of all that be- 
held her. 

In the train of the Goddess of Liberty were the several 
Arts and Sciences, who all of them flourished underneath 
her eye. One of them in particular made a greater fig- 
ure than any of the rest, who held a thunderbolt in her 
right hand, which had the power of melting, piercing, 
or breaking, everything that stood in its way. The name 
of this goddess was Eloquence. 

There were two other dependent goddesses, who made a 
very conspicuous figure in this blissful region. The first 
of them was seated upon a hill, that had every plant grow- 
ing out of it, which the soil was in its own nature capa- 
ble of producing. The other was seated in a little island 


that was covered with groves of spices, olives, and orange 
trees; and in a word, with the products of every foreign 
clime. The name of the first was Plenty, and of the sec- 
ond Commerce. The first leaned her right arm upon a 
plow, and under her left held a huge horn out of which 
she poured a whole autumn of fruits. The other wore a 
rostral crown upon her head, and kept her eyes fixed upon 
a compass. 

I was wonderfully pleased in ranging through this de- 
lightful place, and the more so, because it was not en- 
cumbered with fences and enclosures; until at length, 
methought, I sprung from the ground, and pitched upon 
the top of a hill, that presented several objects to my 
sight which I had not before taken notice of. The winds 
that passed over this flowery plain, and through the tops 
of the trees which were in full blossom, blew upon me 
in such a continued breeze of sweets, that I was wonder- 
fully charmed with my situation. I here saw all the 
inner declivities of that great circuit of mountains 
whose outside was covered with snow, overgrown with 
huge forests of fir-trees, which indeed are very fre- 
quently found in other parts of the Alps. These trees 
were inhabited by storks, that came thither in great 
flights from very far distant quarters of the world. Me- 
thought I was pleased in my dream to see what became 
of these birds, when, upon leaving the places to which 
they make an annual visit, they rise in great flocks so 
high until they are out of sight, and for that reason have 
been thought by some modern philosophers to take a flight 
to the moon. But my eyes were soon diverted from this 
prospect, when I observed two great gaps that led through 
this circuit of mountains, where guards and watches were 
posted day and night. Upon examination, I found that 
there were two formidable enemies encamped before each 
of these avenues, who kept the place in a perpetual alarm, 
and watched all opportunities of invading it. 

Tyranny was at the head of one of these armies, dressed 
in an Eastern habit, and grasping in her hand an iron 


scepter. Behind her was Barbarity, with the garb and 
complexion of an Ethiopian; Ignorance, with a turban 
upon her head; and Persecution holding up a bloody 
flag, embroidered with flower-de-luces. These were fol- 
lowed by Oppression, Poverty, Famine, Torture, and a 
dreadful train of appearances that made me tremble to 
behold them. Among the baggage of this army, I could 
discover racks, wheels, chains, and gibbets, with all the 
instruments art could invent to make human nature mis- 
erable. Before the other avenue I saw Licentiousness, 
dressed in a garment not unlike the Polish cassock, and 
leading up a whole army of monsters, such as Clamor, 
with a hoarse voice and an hundred tongues; Confusion, 
with a misshapen body, and a thousand heads; Impu- 
dence, with a forehead of brass; and Rapine, with hands 
of iron. The tumult, noise, and uproar in this quarter 
were so very great, that they disturbed my imagination 
more than is consistent with sleep, and by that means 
awaked me. 

[The Tatler No. 163. Tuesday, April 25, 1710. 

Idem inficeto est inficetior rure, 

Simul poemata attigit; neque idem unquam 

^que est beatus, ac poema cum scribit: 

Tam gaudet in se, tamque se ipse miratur. 

Nimirum idem omnes fallimur; neque est quisquam 

Quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum 

Possis * — Catul. de Suffeno xx. 14. 

I yesterday came hither about two hours before the 
company generally make their appearance, with a design 
to read over all the newspapers; but, upon my sitting 

1 Suffenus has no more wit than a mere clown when he at- 
tempts to write verses, and yet he is never happier than when 
he is scribbling ; bo much does he admire himself and his com- 
positions. And, indeed, this is the foible of every one of us, 
for there is no man living who is not a Suflfenus in one thing 
or other. 


down, I "was accosted by Ned Softly, who saw me from a 
corner in the other end of the room, where I found he 
had been writing something. "Mr. Bickerstaff," says he, 
"I observe by a late Paper of yours, that you and I are 
just of a humor ; for you must know, of all impertinences, 
there is nothing which I so much hate as news. I never 
read a Gazette in my life; and never trouble my head 
about our armies, whether they win or lose, or in what 
part of the world they lie encamped." Without giving 
me time to reply, he drew a paper of verses out of his 
pocket, telling me, "that he had something which would 
entertain me more agreeably; and that he would desire 
my judgment upon every line, for that we had time 
enough before us until the company came in." 

Ned Softly is a very pretty poet, and a great admirer 
of easy lines. Waller is his favorite: and as that ad- 
mirable writer has the best and worst verses of any among 
our great English poets, Ned Softly, has got all the bad 
ones without book; which he repeats upon occasion, to 
show his reading, and garnish his conversation. Ned is 
indeed a true English reader, incapable of relishing the 
great and masterly strokes of this art; but wonderfully 
pleased with the little Gothic ornaments of epigram- 
matical conceits, turns, points, and quibbles, which are 
so frequent in the most admired of our English poets, 
and practised by those who want genius and strength to 
represent, after the manner of the ancients, simplicity 
in its natural beauty and perfection. 

Finding myself unavoidably engaged in such a con- 
versation, I was resolved to turn my pain into a pleasure, 
and to divert myseK as well as I could with so very odd 
a fellow. "You must understand," says Ned, "that the 
sonnet I am going to read to you was written upon a 
lady, who showed me some verses of her own making, 
and is, perhaps, the best poet of our age. But you shall 
hear it." 

Upon which he began to read as follows : 


When dress'd in laurel wreaths you shine, 
And tune your soft melodious notes, 

You seem a sister of the Nine, 
Or Phoebus' self in petticoats. 


I fancy, when your song you sing, 

(Your song you sing with so much art) 

Your pen was plucked from Cupid's wing; 
For, ah! it wounds me like his dart. 

'Why," says I, '^this is a little nosegay of conceits, a 
very lump of salt: every verse has something in it that 
piques; and then the dart in the last line is certainly as 
pretty a sting in the tail of an epigram, for so I think 
you critics call it, as ever entered into the thought of a 
poet.'' "Dear Mr. Bickerstaff,'' says he, shaking me by 
the hand, "everybody knows you to be a judge of these 
things; and to tell you truly, I read over Roscommon's 
translation of 'Horace's Art of Poetry' three several times, 
before I sat down to write the sonnet which I have shown 
you. But you shall hear it again, and pray observe every 
line of it; for not one of them shall pass without your 

When dress'd in laurel wreaths, you shine, 

"That is," says he, "when you have your garland on; 
when you are writing verses." To which I replied, "I 
know your meaning : a metaphor !" "The same," said he, 
and went on. 

"And tune your soft melodious notes. 

Pray observe the gliding of that verse; there is scarce 
a consonant in it : I took care to make it run upon liquids. 


Give me your opinion of it/' "Truly," said I, "I think 
it as good as the former." "I am very glad to hear you 
say so," says he; 'T^ut mind the next." 

You seem a sister of the Nine, 

^^That is," says he, "you seem a sister of the Muses; 
for, if you look into ancient authors, you will find it was 
their opinion that there were nine of them." "I remem- 
ber it very well," said I; "but pray proceed." 

"Or Phoebus' self in petticoats. 

"Phoebus," says he, "was the god of poetry. These lit- 
tle instances, Mr. Bickerstaff, show a gentleman's read- 
ing. Then, to take off from the air of learning, which 
Phoebus and the Muses had given to this first stanza, you 
may observe, how it falls all of a sudden into the familiar ; 
'in Petticoats' !" 

"Or Phoebus' self in petticoats. 

"Let us now," says I, "enter upon the second stanza; 
I find the first line is still a continuation of the meta- 

I fancy, when your song you sing." 

"It is very right," says he, %ut pray observe the turn 
of words in those two lines. I was a whole hour in ad- 
justing of them, and have still a doubt upon me, whethei* 
in the second line it should be 'Your song you sing; or^ 
You sing your song ?' You shall hear them both : 

I fancy, when your song you sing, 
(Your song you sing with so much art) 


I fancy, when j^our song you sing, 

(You sing your song with so much art.)" 

"Truly," said I, "the turn is so natural either way, that 
you have made me almost giddy with it." "Dear sir/' 


said he, grasping me by the hand, ^^you have a great deal 
of patience; but pray what do you think of the next 

Your pen was pluck'd from Cupid's wing." 

"Think!'' says I; "I think you have made Cupid look 
like a little goose/' "That was my meaning," says he: 
"I think the ridicule is well enough hit off. But we come 
now to the last, which sums up the whole matter. 

For, ah! it wounds me like his dart. 

"Pray how do you like that Ah! doth it not make a 

pretty figure in that place? Ah! it looks as if I felt 

the dart, and cried out as being pricked with it. 

For, ah! it wounds me like his dart. 

"My friend Dick Easy," continued he, "assured me, he 
would rather have written that Ah! than to have been the 
author of the .^neid. He indeed objected, that I made 
Mira's pen like a quill in one of the lines, and like a dart 

in the other. But as to that " "Oh ! as to that," says 

I, "it is but supposing Cupid to be like a porcupine, and 
his quills and darts will be the same thing." He was 
going to embrace me for the hint ; but half a dozen critics 
coming into the room, whose faces he did not like, he 
conveyed the sonnet into his pocket, and whispered me 
in the ear, "he would show it me again as soon as his 
man had written it over fair." 

[The Tatler No. 181. Tuesday, June 6, lYlO. Steele.] 
Dies, ni fallor, adest, quem semper acerbum, 

Semper honoratum, sic dii voluistis habebo.^ 

There are those among mankind, who can enjoy no rel- 
ish of their being, except the world is made acquainted 

* And now the rising day renews the year, 
A day for ever sad, for ever dear. 


with all that relates to them, and think everything lost 
that passes unobserved; but others find a solid delight in 
stealing by the crowd, and modeling their life after such 
a manner, as is as much above the approbation as the 
practice of the vulgar. Life being too short to give in- 
stances great enough of true friendship or good will, 
some sages have thought it pious to preserve a certain 
reverence for the Manes of their deceased friends; and 
have withdrawn themselves from the rest of the world at 
certain seasons, to commemorate in their own thoughts 
such of their acquaintance who have gone before them 
out of this life. And indeed, when we are advanced in 
years, there is not a more pleasing entertainment, than 
to recollect in a gloomy moment the many we have parted 
with, that have been dear and agreeable to us, and to cast 
a melancholy thought or two after those, with whom, per- 
haps, we have indulged ourselves in whole nights of mirth 
and jollity. With such inclinations in my heart I went 
to my closet yesterday in the evening, and resolved to be 
sorrowful; upon which occasion I could not but look with 
disdain upon myself, that though all the reasons which 
I had to lament the loss of many of my friends are now 
as forcible as at the moment of their departure, yet did 
not my heart swell with the same sorrow which I felt at 
that time; but I could, without tears, reflect upon many 
pleasing adventures I have had with some, who have long 
been blended with common earth. 

Though it is by the benefit of nature, that length of 
time thus blots out the violence of afflictions; yet with 
tempers too much given to pleasure, it is almost neces- 
sary to revive the old places of grief in our memory; and 
ponder step by step on past life, to lead the mind into 
that sobriety of thought which poises the heart, and makes 
it beat with due time, without being quickened with de- 
sire, or retarded with despair, from its proper and equal 
motion. When we wind up a clock that is out of order^ 
to make it go well for the future, we do not immediately 
set the hand to the present instant, but we make it strike 


the round of all its hours, before it can recover the regu- 
larity of its time. Such, thought I, shall be my method 
this evening; and since it is that day of the year which 
I dedicate to the memory of such in another life as I 
much delighted in when living, an hour or two shall be 
sacred to sorrow and their memory, while I run over all 
the melancholy circumstances of this kind which have 
occurred to me in my whole life. The first sense of sor- 
row I ever knew was upon the death of my father at which 
time I was not quite five years of age; but was rather 
amazed at what all the house meant, than possessed with 
a real understanding why nobody was willing to play with 
me. I remember I went into the room where his body 
lay, and my mother sat weeping alone by it. I had my 
battledore in my hand, and fell a-beating the coffin, and 
calling papa; for, I know not how, I had some slight 
idea that he was locked up there. My mother catched 
me in her arms, and, transported beyond all patience of 
the silent grief she was before in, she almost smothered 
me in her embraces; and told me, in a flood of tears, 
"Papa could not hear me, and would play with me no 
more, for they were going to put him under ground, 
whence he could never come to us again." She was a 
very beautiful woman, of a noble spirit, and there was a 
dignity in her grief amidst all the wildness of her trans- 
port, which, methought, struck me with an instinct of 
sorrow, that, before I was sensible of what it was to grieve, 
seized my very soul, and has made pity the weakness of 
my heart ever since. The mind in infancy is, methinks, 
like the body in embryo, and receives impressions so 
forcible, that they are as hard to be removed by reason, 
as any mark, with which a child is born, is to be taken 
away by any future application. Hence it is, that good- 
nature in me is no merit; but having been so frequently 
overwhelmed with her tears before I knew the cause of 
any affliction, or could draw defenses from my own judg- 
ment. I imbibed commiseration, remorse, and an un- 
manly gentleness of mind, which has since ensnared me 


into ten thousand calamities; from whence I can reap 
no advantage, except it be, that, in such a humor as I 
am now in, I can the better indulge myself in the soft- 
nesses of humanity, and enjoy that sweet anxiety which 
arises from the memory of past afflictions. 

We, that are very old, are better able to remember 
things which befel us in our distant youth, than the pas- 
sages of later days. For this reason it is, that the com- 
panions of my strong and vigorous years present them- 
selves more immediately to me in this office of sorrow. 
Untimely and unhappy deaths are what we are most apt 
to lament ; so little are we able to make it indifferent when 
a thing happens, though we know it must happen. Thus 
we groan under life, and bewail those who are relieved 
from it. Every object that returns to our imagination 
raises different passions, according to the circumstances 
of their departure. Who can have lived in an army, and 
in a serious hour reflect upon the many gay and agreeable 
men that might long have flourished in the arts of peace, 
and not join with the imprecations of the fatherless and 
widow on the tyrant to whose ambition they fell sacri- 
fices? But gallant men, who are cut off by the sword, 
move rather our veneration than our pity; and we gather 
relief enough from their own contempt of death, to make 
that no evil, which was approached with so much cheer- 
fulness, and attended with so much honor. But when we 
turn our thoughts from the great parts of life on such 
occasions, and instead of lamenting those who stood ready 
to give death to those from whom they had the fortune to 
receive it; I say, when we let our thoughts wander from 
such noble objects, and consider the havoc which is made 
among the tender and the innocent, pity enters with an 
unmixed softness, and possesses all our souls at once. 

Here (were their words to express such sentiments with 
proper tenderness) I should record the beauty, innocence 
and untimely death, of the first object my eyes ever be- 
held with love. The beauteous virgin I how ignorantly did 
she charm, how carelessly excel I Oh Death! thou hast 


right to the bold, to the ambitious, to the high, and to the 
haughty ; but why this cruelty to the humble, to the meek, 
to the undiscerning, to the thoughtless? Nor age, nor 
business, nor distress, can erase the dear image from my 
imagination.. In the same week, I saw her dressed for 
a ball, and in a shroud. How ill did the habit of death 
become the pretty trifler? I stiU behold the smiling 

earth A large train of disasters were coming on to 

my memory, when my servant knocked at my closet door, 
and interrupted me with a letter, attended with a hamper 
of wine, of the same sort with that which is to be put to 
sale, on Thursday next, at Garraway's coffee-house. Upon 
the receipt of it, I sent for three of my friends. We are 
so intimate, that we can be company in whatever state of 
mind we meet, and can entertain each other without ex- 
pecting always to rejoice. The wine we found to be gen- 
erous and warming, but with such an heat as moved us 
rather to be cheerful than frolicsome. It revived the spir- 
its, without firing the blood. We commended it until 
two of the clock this morning; and having to-day met a 
little before dinner, we found, that though we drank two 
bottles a man, we had much more reason to recollect than 
forget what had passed the night before. 

[The Tatler No. 229. Tuesday, September 26, 1710. 

Quaesitam meritis sume superbiam.^ 

The whole creation preys upon itself. Every living 
creature is inhabited. A flea has a thousand invisible 
insects that tease him as he jumps from place to place, 
and revenge our quarrels upon him. A very ordinary 
microscope shows us, that a louse is itself a very lousy 

^ With conscious pride 

Assume the honors justly thine. 


creature. A whale, besides those seas and oceans in the 
several vessels of his body, which are filled with innu- 
merable shoals of little animals, carries about him a whole 
world of inhabitants; insomuch that, if we believe the 
calculations some have made, there are more living crea- 
tures, which are too small for the naked eye to behold, 
about the Leviathan, than there are of visible creatures 
upon the face of the whole earth. Thus every noble crea- 
ture is, as it were, the basis and support of multitudes 
that are his inferiors. 

This consideration very much comforts me, when I 
think of those numberless vermin that feed upon this 
paper, and find their sustenance out of it; I mean the 
small wits and scribblers, that every day turn a penny by 
nibbling at my Lucubrations. This has been so advan- 
tageous to this little species of writers, that, if they da 
me justice, I may expect to have my statue erected in 
Grub Street, as being a common benefactor to that quar- 

They say, when a fox is very much troubled with fleas, 
he goes into the next pool with a little lock of wool in his 
mouth, and keeps his body under water until the vermin 
get into it; after which he quits the wool, and diving, 
leaves his tormentors to shift for themselves, and get their 
livelihood where they can. I would have these gentlemen 
take care that I do not serve them after the same man- 
ner; for though I have hitherto kept my temper pretty 
well, it is not impossible but I may some time or other 
disappear; and what will then become of them? Should 
I lay down my paper, what a famine would there be 
among the hawkers, printers, booksellers, and authors! 
It would be like Doctor Burgess's ^ dropping his cloak, 
with the whole congregation hanging upon the skirts of 
it. To enumerate some of these my doughty antagonists ; 
I was threatened to be answered weekly Tit for Tat; I 
was undermined by the Whisperer; haunted by Tom 

^ Daniel Burgess, the doctor here aUuded to, resided at the 
court of Hanover as secretary and reader to the Princess Sophia. 


Brown's Ghost; scolded at by a Female Tatler; and slan- 
dered by another of the same character, under the title 
of Atalantis. I have been annotated, retattled, examined, 
and condoled: but it being my standing maxim never to 
speak ill of the dead, I shall let these authors rest in 
peace; and take great pleasure in thinking, that I have 
sometimes been the means of their getting a belly full. 
When I see myself thus surrounded by such formidable 
enemies, I often think of the knight of the Red Cross in 
Spenser's "Men of Error," who, after he has cut off the 
dragon's head, and left it wallowing in a flood of ink, 
sees a thousand monstrous reptiles making their attempts 
upon him, one with many heads, another with none, and 
all of them without eyes. 

The same so sore annoyed has the Knight, 
That, well nigh choaked with the deadly stink. 
His forces fail, he can no longer fight; 
Whose courage when the fiend perceiv'd to shrink, 
She poured forth out of her hellish sink 
Her fruitful cursed spawn of serpents small, 
Deformed monsters, foul, and black as ink; 
Which swarming all about his legs did crawl. 
And him encumbered sore, but could not hurt at all. 

As gentle shepherd in sweet even tide. 
When ruddy Phoebus 'gins to welk in west, 
High on an hill, his flock to viewen wide, 
Marks which do bite their hasty supper best 
A cloud of cumbrous gnats do him molest. 
All striving to infix their feeble stings, 
That from their noyance he no where can rest 
But with his clownish hands their tender wings 
He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings. 

If ever I should want such a fry of little authors to 
attend me, I shall think my paper in a very decaying con- 
dition. They are like ivy about an oak, which adorns 
the tree at the same time that it eats into it; or like a 
great man's equipage, that do honor to the person on 


whom they feed. For my part, when I see myself thus 
attacked, I do not consider my antagonists as malicious, 
but hungry; and therefore am resolved never to take 
any notice of them. 

As for those who detract from my labors, without be- 
ing prompted to it by an empty stomach; in return to 
their censures, I shall take pains to excel, and never fail 
to persuade myself, that their enmity is nothing but their 
envy or ignorance. 

Give me leave to conclude, like an old man, and a 
moralist, with a fable. 

The owls, bats, and several other birds of the night, 
were one day got together in a thick shade, where they 
abused their neighbors in a very sociable manner. Their 
satire at last fell upon the sun, whom they all agreed to 
be very troublesome, impertinent and inquisitive. Upon 
which, the sun, who overheard them, spoke to them after 
this manner : "Gentlemen, I wonder how you dare abuse 
one that, you know, could in an instant scorch you up, 
and burn every mother's son of you : but the only answer 
I shall give you, or the revenge I shall take of you, is, 
to 'shine on.' " 

[The Tatler No, 249. Saturday, November 11, 1710. 


Per varies casus, per tot discrimina rerum, 
Tendimus. ^ — Vieg. -^n. i. 208. 

I was last night visited by a friend of mine, who has 
an inexhaustible fund of discourse, and never fails to en- 
tertain his company with a variety of thoughts and hints 
that are altogether new and uncommon. Whether it 
vvere in complaisance to my way of living, or his real 
opinion, he advanced the following paradox: that it re- 
quired much greater talents to fill up and become a re- 

^ Through various hazards, and events, we move. 


tired life than a life of business. Upon this occasion lie 
rallied very agreeably the busy men of the age, who only 
value themselves for being in motion, and passing through 
a series of trifling and insignificant actions. In the heat 
of his discourse, seeing a piece of money lying on my 
table, ^T. defy,'^ says he, "any of these active persons to 
produce half the adventures that this twelve-penny piece 
has been engaged in, were it possible for him to give us 
an account of his life.'' 

My friend's talk made so odd an impression upon my 
mind, that soon after I was a-bed I fell insensibly into 
an unaccountable reverie, that had neither moral nor de- 
sign in it, and cannot be so properly called a dream as a 

Methought the shilling that lay upon the table reared 
itself upon its edge, and, turning the face towards me, 
opened its mouth, and in a soft silver sound, gave me the 
following account of his life and adventures: 

"I was born," says he, "on the side of a mountain, near 
a little village of Peru, and made a voyage to England 
in an ingot under the convoy of sir Francis Drake. I 
was, soon after my arrival, taken out of my Indian habit, 
refined, naturalized, and put into the British mode, with 
the face of queen Elizabeth on one side, and the arms of 
the country on the other. Being thus equipped, I found 
in me a wonderful inclination to ramble, and visit all 
the parts of the new world into which I was brought. 
The people very much favored my natural disposition, 
and shifted me so fast from hand to hand, that, before I 
was five years old, I had traveled into almost every cor- 
ner of the nation. But in the beginning of my sixth 
year, to my unspeakable grief, I fell into the hands of 
a miserable old fellow, who clapped me into an iron chest, 
where I found five hundred more of my own quality 
who lay under the same confinement. The only relief we 
had, was to be taken out and counted over in the fresh 
air every morning and evening. After an imprisonment 
of several years, we heard somebody knocking at our 


chest, and breaking it open with an hammer. This we 
found was the old man's heir, who, as his father lay dying, 
was so good as to come to our release. He separated us 
that very day. What was the fate of my companions I 
know not: as for myself, I was sent to the apothecary's 
shop for a pint of sack. The apothecary gave me to an 
herb-woman, the herb-woman to a butcher, the butcher to 
a brewer, and the brewer to his wife, who made a present 
of me to a nonconformist preacher. After this manner 
I made my way merrily through the world ; for, as I told 
you before, we shillings love nothing so much as travel- 
ing. I sometimes fetched in a shoulder of mutton, some- 
times a play-book, and often had the satisfaction to treat 
a templer at a twelve-penny ordinary, or carry him with 
three friends to Westminster-hall. 

'^In the midst of this pleasant progress which I made 
from place to place, I was arrested by a superstitious old 
iwoman, who shut me up in a greasy purse, in pursuance 
of a foolish saying, Hhat while she kept a queen Eliza- 
beth's shilling about her, she would never be without 
tQoney.' I continued here a close prisoner for many 
taonths, until at last I was exchanged for eight-and-forty 

"I thus rambled from pocket to pocket until the begin- 
ning of the civil wars, when, to my shame be it spoken, I 
was employed in raising soldiers against the king: for, 
being of a very tempting breadth, a sergeant made use of 
me to inveigle country fellows, and lift them into the 
service of the Parliament. 

"As soon as he had made one man sure, his way was, 
to oblige him to take a shilling of a more homely figure, 
and then practice the same* trick upon another. Thus I 
continued doing great mischief to the crown, until my 
officer chancing one morning to walk abroad earlier than 
ordinary, sacrificed me to his pleasures, and made use of 
me to seduce a milk-maid. This wench bent me, and gave 
me to her sweetheart, applying more properly than she 
intended the usual form of, *to my love and from my 


love/ This ungenerous gallant marrying her within a 
few days after, pawned me for a dram of brandy; and 
drinking me out next day, I was beaten flat with an ham- 
mer, and again set a-running. 

*^After many adventures, which it would be tedious to 
relate, I was sent to a young spendthrift, in company with 
the will of his deceased father. The young fellow, who I 
found was very extravagant, gave great demonstrations of 
joy at receiving the will ; but opening it, he found himself 
disinherited, and cut off from the possession of a fair estate 
by virtue of my being made a present to him. This put 
him into such a passion, that, after having taken me in his 
hand, and cursed me, he squirred me away from him as far 
as he could fling me. I chanced to light in an unfre- 
quented place under a dead wall, where I lay undiscovered 
and useless during the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell. 

'^About a year after the King's return, a poor cavalier, 
that was walking there about dinner-time, fortunately 
cast his eye upon me, and, to the great joy of us both, 
carried me to a cook's shop, where he dined upon me, and 
drank the King's health. When I came again into the 
world, I found that I had been happier in my retirement 
than I thought, having probably by that means escaped 
wearing a monstrous pair of breeches. 

"Being now of great credit and antiquity, I was rather 
looked upon as a medal than an ordinary coin; for which 
reason a gamester laid hold of me, and converted me to 
a counter, having got together some dozens of us for 
that use. We led a melancholy life in his possession, 
being busy at those hours wherein current coin is at rest, 
and partaking the fate of our master; being in a few 
moments valued at a crown, a pound, or sixpence, ac- 
cording to the situation in which the fortune of the cards 
placed us. I had at length the good luck to see my mas- 
ter break, by which means I was again sent abroad under 
my primitive denomination of a shilling. 

^T. shall pass over many other accidents of less mo- 
ment, and hasten to that fatal catastrophe when I fell 


into the hands of an artist, who conveyed me under 
ground, and, with an unmerciful pair of sheers, cut off 
my titles, clipped my brims, retrenched my shape, rubbed 
me to my inmost ring; and, in short, so spoiled and pil- 
laged me, that he did not leave me worth a groat. You 
may think what confusion I was in to see myself thus 
curtailed and disfigured. I should have been ashamed 
to have shown my head, had not all my old acquaintance 
been reduced to the same shameful figure, excepting some 
few that were punched through the belly. In the midst 
of this general calamity, when everybody thought our 
misfortune irretrievable, and our case desperate, we were 
thrown into the furnace together, and, as it often happens 
with cities rising out of a fire, appeared with greater 
beauty and luster than we could ever boast of before. 
What has happened to me since this change of sex which 
you now see, I shall take some other opportunity to re- 
late. In the meantime, I » shall only repeat two adven- 
tures, as being very extraordinary, and neither of them 
having ever happened to me above once in my life. The 
first was, my being in a poet's pocket, who was so taken 
with the brightness and novelty of my appearance, that 
it gave occasion to the finest burlesque poem in the Brit- 
ish language, entitled, from me, ^The Splendid Shilling.' 
The second adventure, which I must not omit, happened 
to me in the year 1703, when I was given away in charity 
to a blind man; but indeed this was by mistake, the per- 
son who gave me having thrown me heedlessly into the 
hat among a pennyworth of farthings." 

[The Tatler No. 271. Tuesday, January 2, 1710. 
Steele.] ^ 

The printer having informed me, that there are as 
many of these papers printed as will make four volumes, 
I am now come to the end of my ambition in this matter, 

* "Steele's last *Tatler* came out to-day. You will see it before 
this comes to you, and how he takes leave of the world. He 


and have nothing farther to say to the world under the 
character of Isaac Bickerstaff. This work has indeed for 
some time been disagreeable to me, and the purpose of it 
wholly lost by my being so long understood as the au- 
thor. I never designed in it to give any man any secret 
wound by my concealment, but spoke in the character of 
an old man, a philosopher, an humorist, an astrologer, 
and a Censor, to allure my reader with the variety of my 
subjects, and insinuate, if I could, the weight of reason 
with the agreeableness of wit. The general purpose of 
the whole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honor, 
and virtue, as the chief ornaments of life; but I consid- 
ered, that severity of manners was absolutely necessary 
to him who would censure others, and for that reason, and 
that only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my 
humility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but at 
the same time must confess, my life is at best but par- 
donable. And, with no greater character than this, a 
man would make but an indifferent progress in attack^ 
ing prevailing and fashionable vices, which Mr. Bicker-- 
staff has done with a freedom of spirit, that would have 
lost both its beauty and efficacy, had it been pretended to 
by Mr. Steele. 

As to the work itself, the acceptance it has met with is 
the best proof of its value; but I should err against that 
candor, which an honest man should always carry about 
him, if I did not own, that the most approved pieces in 
it were written by others, and those which have been most 
excepted against, by myself. The hand that has assisted 
me in those noble discourses upon the immortality of the 
soul, the glorious prospects of another life, and the most 
sublime ideas of religion and virtue, is a person who is 
too fondly my friend ever to own them; but I should 

never told so much as Addison of it, who was surprized as much 
as I ; but, to say the truth, it was time, for he grew cruel dull 
and dry. To my knowledge he had several good hints to go 
upon ; but he was so lazy and weary of the work, that he would 
not improve them.*' — Swift to Mrs. Johnson. 


little deserve to be his, if I usurped the glory of them.^ 
I must acknowledge at the same time, that I think the 
finest strokes of wit and humor in all Mr. Bickerstaff's Lu- 
cubrations, are those for which he also is beholden to him. 

As for the satirical part of these writings, those against 
the gentlemen who profess gaming are the most licen- 
tious; but the main of them I take to come from losing 
gamesters, as invectives against the fortunate; for in 
very many of them I was very little else but the 
transcriber. If any have been more particularly marked 
at, such persons may impute it to their own behavior, 
before they were touched upon, in publicly speaking their 
resentment against the author, and professing they would 
support any man who should insult him. When I men- 
tion this subject, I hope major general Davenport, briga- 
dier Bisset, and my Lord Forbes, will accept of my 
thanks for their frequent good offices, in professing their 
readiness to partake any danger that should befall me 
in so just an undertaking, as the endeavor to banish fraud 
and cozenage from the presence and conversation of 

But what I find is the least excusable part of aU this 
work is, that I have, in some places in it, touched upon 
matters whicli concern both Church and State. All I 
shall say for this is, that the points I alluded to, are such 
as concerned every Christian and freeholder in England; 
and I could not be cold enough to conceal my opinion on 
subjects which related to either of those characters. But 
politics apart. 

I must confess it has been a most exquisite pleasure 
to me to frame characters of domestic life, and put those 
parts of it which are least observed into an agreeable view ; 
to inquire into the seeds of vanity and affectation, to lay 
before the readers the emptiness of ambition: in a word, 
to trace human life through all its mazes and recesses, 
and show much shorter methods than men ordinarily prac- 
tice, to be happy, agreeable, and great. 

* Addison was the assistant here alluded to. 


But to inquire into men's faults and weaknesses has 
something in it so unwelcome, that I have often seen 
people in pain to act before me, whose modesty only 
makes them think themselves liable to censure. This, 
and a thousand other nameless things, have made it an 
irksome task to me to personate Mr. Bickerstaff any 
longer; and I believe it does not often happen, that the 
reader is delighted where the author is displeased. 

All I can now do for the farther gratification of the 
town, is to give them a faithful explication of passages 
and allusions, and sometimes of persons intended in the 
several scattered parts of the work. At the same time, I 
shall discover which of the whole have been written by 
me, and which by others, and by whom, as far as I am 
ahle, or permitted. 

Thus I have voluntarily done, what I think all authors 
should do when called upon. I have published my name 
to my writings, and given myself up to the mercy of the 
town, as Shakespeare expresses it, ^^with all my imper- 
fections on my head." The indulgent reader's most 
obliged, most obedient, humble servant, 

EiCHARD Steele. 

[Spectator No. 1. Thursday, March 1, 1711. Addison.] 

Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem 
Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat. 

— Horace 
["One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke; 
Another out of smoke brings glorious light. 
And (without raising expectation high) 
Surprises us with dazzling miracles." 

— Roscommon.] 

I have observed that a reader seldom peruses a book 
with pleasure till he knows whether the writer of it be 
a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, 
married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like 


nature that conduce very mucli to the right understanding 
of an author. To gratify this curiosity, which is so nat- 
ural to a reader, I design this paper and my next as 
prefatory discourses to my following writings, and shall 
give some account in them of the several persons that are 
engaged in this work. As the chief trouble of compiling, 
digesting, and correcting will fall to my share, I must 
do myseK the justice to open the work with my own his- 
tory. I was born to a small hereditary estate, which, ac- 
cording to the tradition of the village where it lies, was 
bounded by the same hedges and ditches in William the 
Conqueror's time that it is at present, and has been de- 
livered down from father to son whole and entire, without 
the loss or acquisition of a single field or meadow, during 
the space of six hundred years. There runs a story in the 
family, that my mother dreamed that she was brought to 
bed of a judge: whether this might proceed from a law- 
suit which was then depending in the family, or my 
father's being a justice of the peace, I cannot determine; 
for I am not so vain as to think it presaged any dignity 
that I should arrive at in my future life, though that 
was the interpretation which the neighborhood put upon 
it. The gravity of my behavior at my very first appear- 
ance in the world seemed to favor my mother's dream: 
for, as she has often told me> I threw away my rattle 
before I was two months old, and would not make use 
of my coral till they had taken away the bells from it. 
As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing in 
it remarkable, I shall pass it over in silence. I find that, 
during my nonage, I had the reputation of a very sullen 
youth, but was always a favorite of my schoolmaster, who 
used to say that my parts were solid and would wear well. 
I had not been long at ^ the University before I distin- 
guished myself by a most profound silence; for during 
the space of eight years, excepting in the public exer- 
cises of the college, I scarce uttered the quantity of an 
hundred words; and indeed do not remember that I ever 
spoke three sentences together in my whole life. Whilst 


I was in this learned body, I applied myself with so much 
diligence to my studies that there are very few celebrated 
books, either in the learned or the modern tongues, which 
I am not acquainted with. 

Upon the death of my father I was resolved to travel 
into foreign countries, and therefore left the University 
with the character of an odd, unaccountable fellow, that 
had a great deal of learning if I would but show it. An 
insatiable thirst after knowledge carried me into all the 
countries of Europe in which there was anything new or 
strange to be seen ; nay, to such a degree was my curiosity 
raised, that having read the controversies of some great 
men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage 
to Grand Cairo, on purpose to take the measure of a 
pyramid; and as soon as I had set myself right in that 
particular, returned to my native country with great satis- 

I have passed my latter years in this city, where I am 
frequently seen in most public places, though there are 
not above half a dozen of my select friends that know 
me; of whom my next paper shall give a more particular 
account. There is no place of general sort wherein I do 
not often make my appearance; sometimes I am seen 
thrusting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, 
and listening with great attention to the narratives that 
are made in those little circular audiences. Sometimes I 
smoke a pipe at Child's, and whilst I seem attentive to 
nothing but The Postman, overhear the conversation of 
every table in the room. I appear on Sunday nights at 
St. James's Coffee-house, and sometimes join the little 
committee of politics in the Inner room, as one who 
comes there to hear and improve. My face is likewise 
very well known at the Grecian, the Cocoa-Tree, and in 
the theaters both of Drury Lane and the Hay-Market. 
I have been taken for a merchant upon the Exchange for 
above these ten years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in 
the assembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In short, 
wherever I see a cluster of people, I always mix with 


them, though I never open my lips but in my own club. 

Thus I live in the world rather as a Spectator of man- 
kind than as one of the species; by which means I have 
made myself a speculative statesman, soldier, merchant, 
and artisan, without ever meddling with any practical 
part in life. I am very well versed in the theory of an 
husband or a father, and can discern the errors in the 
economy, business, and diversion of others better than 
those who are engaged in them; as standers-by discover 
blots which are apt to escape those who are in the game. 
I never espoused any party with violence, and am resolved 
to observe an exact neutrality between the Whigs and 
Tories, unless I shall be forced to declare myself by 
the hostilities of either side. In short, I have acted in 
all the parts of my life as a looker-on, which is the char- 
acter I intend to preserve in this paper. 

I have given the reader just so much of my history and 
character as to let him see I am not altogether unqualified 
for the business I have undertaken. As for other par- 
ticulars in my life and adventures, I shall insert them in 
following papers as I shall see occasion. In the mean- 
time, when I consider how much I have seen, read, and 
heard, I began to blame my own taciturnity: and since 
I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the 
fulness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in 
writing, and to print myself out, if possible, before I die. 
I have been often told by my friends that it is a pity so 
many useful discoveries which I have made, should be in 
the possession of a silent man. For this reason, therefore, 
I shall publish a sheetful of thoughts every morning for 
the benefit of my contemporaries; and if I can in any 
way contribute to the diversion or improvement of the 
country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am sum- 
moned out of it, with the secret satisfaction of thinking 
that I have not lived in vain. 

There are three very material points which I have not 
spoken to in this paper, and which, for several important 
reasons, I must keep to myself, at least for some time: I 


mean, an account of my name, my age, and my lodgings. 
I must confess, I would gratify my reader in anything 
tTiat is reasonable; but, as for tbese three particulars, 
though I am sensible they might tend very much to the 
embellishment of my paper, I cannot yet come to a reso- 
lution of communicating them to the public. They would 
indeed draw me out of that obscurity which I have en- 
joyed for many years, and expose me in public places 
to several salutes and civilities which have been always 
very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can suffer 
is the being talked to and being stared at. It is for this 
reason, likewise, that I keep my complexion and dress 
as very great secrets, though it is not impossible but I 
may make discoveries of both in the progress of the work 
I have undertaken. 

After having been thus particular upon myself, I shall 
in to-morrow's paper give an account of those gentlemen 
who are concerned with me in this work; for, as I have 
before intimated, a plan of it is laid and concerted (as 
all other matters of importance are) in a club. How- 
ever, as my friends have engaged me to stand in the 
front, those who have a mind to correspond with me may 
direct their letters To the Spectator, at Mr, Buckley's, in 
Little Britain. For I must further acquaint the reader 
that, though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thurs- 
days, we have appointed a committee to sit every night, 
for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute 
to the advancement of the public weal. C. 

[Spectator No. 2. FRroAY, March 2, 1711. Steele.] 

^Ast alii sex, 

Et plures, uno conclamant ore.^ 

— Juvenal. 

The first of our society is a gentleman of Worcester- 
shire, of ancient descent, a baronet, his name Sir Roger 

^ "Six more at least join their consenting voice." 


de Coverley. His great-grandfather was inventor of that 
famous country-dance which is called after him. All who 
know that shire are very well acquainted with the parts 
and merits of Sir Eoger. He is a gentleman that is very 
singular in his behavior, but his singularities proceed 
from his good sense, and are contradictions to the man- 
ners of the world only as he thinks the world is in the 
wrong. However, this humor creates him no enemies, for 
he does nothing with sourness of obstinacy; and his being 
unconfined to modes and forms, makes him but the readier 
and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. 
When he is in town, he lives in Soho Square. It is said 
he keeps himself a bachelor by reason he was crossed in 
love by a perverse, beautiful widow of the next county to 
him. Before this disappointment. Sir Eoger was what 
you call a fine gentleman, had often supped with my Lord 
Eochester and Sir George Etherege, fought a duel upon 
his first coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a 
public coffee-house for calling him "youngster." But 
being ill-used by the above-mentioned widow, he was very 
serious for a year and a half; and though, his temper 
being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew care- 
less of himseK, and never dressed afterward. He con- 
tinues to wear a coat and doublet of the same cut that 
were in fashion at the time of his repulse, which, in his 
merry humors, he tells us, has been in and out twelve 
times since he first wore it. 'Tis said Sir Eoger grew 
humble in his desires after he had forgot this cruel 
beauty; but this is looked upon by his friends rather as 
matter of raillery than truth. He is now in his fifty-sixth 
year, cheerful, gay, and hearty; keeps a good house in 
both town and country; a great lover of mankind; but 
there is such a mirthful cast in his behavior that he is 
rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants grow rich, 
his servants look satisfied, all the young women profess 
love to him, and the young men are glad of his company ; 
when he comes into a house he calls the servants by their 
names, and talks all the way up stairs to a visit. I must 


not omit that Sir Eoger is a justice of the quorum; that 
he fills the chair at a quarter-session with great abilities; 
and, three months ago, gained universal applause by ex- 
plaining a passage in the Game Act. 

The gentleman next in esteem and authority among us 
is another bachelor, who is a member of the Inner Temple ; 
a man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he 
has chosen his place of residence rather to obey the direct- 
tion of an old humorsome father, than in pursuit of his 
own inclinations. He was placed there to study the laws 
of the land, and is the most learned of any of the house in 
those of the stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much 
better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The 
father sends up, every post, questions relating to marriage- 
articles, leases, and tenures, in the neighborhood; all 
which questions he agrees with an attorney to apswer 
and take care of in the lump. He is studying the pas- 
sions themselves, when he should be inquiring into the 
debates among men which arise from them. He knows 
the argument of each of the orations of Demosthenes and 
Tully, but not one case in the reports of our own courts. 
No one ever took him for a fool, but none, except his 
intimate friends, know he has a great deal of wit. This 
turn makes him at once both disinterested and agreeable; 
as few of his thoughts are drawn from business, they are 
most of them fit for conversation. His taste of books is 
a little too just for the age he lives in; he has read all, 
but approves of very few. His familiarity with the cus- 
toms, manners, actions, and writings of the ancients 
makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him 
in tlie present world. He is an excellent critic, and the 
time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five 
he passes through New Inn, crosses through Kussell Court, 
and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has 
his shoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the barber's 
as you go into the Eose. It is for the good of the audi- 
ence when he is at a play, for the actors have an ambi- 
tion to please him. 


The person of next consideration is Sir Andrew Free- 
port, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London, 
a person of indefatigable industry, strong reason, and 
great experience. His notions of trade are noble and 
generous, and (as every rich man has usually some sly 
way of jesting which would make no great figure were 
he not a rich man) he calls the sea the British Common. 
He is acquainted with commerce in all its parts, and 
will tell you that it is a stupid and barbarous way to ex- 
tend dominion by arms; for true power is to be got by 
arts and industry. He will often argue that if this part 
of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from 
one nation; and if another, from another. I have heard 
him prove that diligence makes more lasting acquisitions 
than valor, and that sloth has ruined more nations than 
the sword. He abounds in several frugal maxims, among 
which the greatest favorite is, "A penny saved is a penny 
got." A general trader of good sense is pleasanter com- 
pany than a general scholar; and Sir Andrew having a 
natural unaffected eloquence, the perspicuity of his dis- 
course gives the same pleasure that wit would in another 
man. He has made his fortunes himself, and says that 
England may be richer than other kingdoms by as plain 
methods as he himself is richer than other men ; though at 
the same time I can say this of him, that there is not a 
point in the compass but blows home a ship in which he 
is an owner. 

Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room sits Captain 
Sentry, a gentleman of great courage, good understanding, 
but invincible modesty. He is one of those that deserve 
very well, but are very awkward at putting their talents 
within the observation of such as should take notice of 
them. He was some years a captain, and behaved him- 
self with great gallantry in several engagements and at 
several sieges; but having a small estate of his own, and 
being next heir to Sir Eoger, he has quitted a way of life 
in which no man can rise suitably to his merit who is 
not something of a courtier as well as a soldier. I have 


heard him often lament that in a profession where merit 
is placed in so conspicuous a view, impudence should get 
the better of modesty. When he has talked to this pur- 
pose I never heard him make a sour expression, but 
frankly confess that he left the world because he was not 
fit for it. A strict honesty and an even, regular behavior 
are in themselves obstacles to him that must press through 
crowds who endeavor at the same end with himself, — 
the favor of a commander. He will, however, in this way 
of talk, excuse generals for not disposing according to 
men's desert, or inquiring into it, "For,'' says he, ^^that 
great man who has a mind to help me, has as many to 
break through to come at me as I have to come at him" ; 
therefore he will conclude that the man who would make 
a figure, especially in a military way, must get over all 
false modesty, and assist his patron against the importun- 
ity of other pretenders by a proper assurance in his own 
vindication. He says it is a civil cowardice to be back- 
ward in asserting what you ought to expect, as it is a 
military fear to be slow in attacking when it is your 
duty. With this candor does the gentleman speak of 
himself and others. The same frankness runs through 
all his conversation. The military part of his life has 
furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of 
which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is 
never overbearing, though accustomed to command men 
in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious 
from an habit of obeying men highly above him. 

But that our society may not appear a set of humor- 
ists unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of 
the age, we have among us the gallant Will Honeycomb, 
a gentleman who, according to his years, should be in the 
decline of his life, but having ever been very careful of 
his person, and always had a very easy fortune, time has 
made but very little impression either by wrinkles on his 
forehead or traces in his brain. His person is well turned 
and of a good height. He is very ready at that sort of 
discourse with which men usually entertain women. He 


has all his life dressed very well, and remembers habits 
as others do men. He can smile when one speaks to 
him, and laughs easily. He knows the history of every 
mode, and can inform you from which of the French king's 
wenches our wives and daughters had this manner of curl- 
ing their hair, that way of placing their hoods; whose 
frailty was covered by such a sort of petticoat, and whose 
vanity to show her foot made that part of the dress so 
short in such a year. In a word, all his conversation and 
knowledge has been in the female world. As other men 
of his age will take notice to you what such a minister 
said upon such and such an occasion, he will tell you 
when the Duke of Monmouth danced at court such a 
woman was then smitten, another was taken with him at 
the head of his troop in the Park. In all these important 
relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind 
glance or a blow of a fan from some celebrated beauty, 
mother of the present Lord Such-a-one. If you speak 
of a young commoner that said a lively thing in the 
House, he starts up: "He has good blood in his veins; 
Tom Mirabell, the rogue, cheated me in that affair; that 
young fellow's mother used me more like a dog than any 
woman I ever made advances to." This way of talking 
of his very much enlivens the conversation among us of a 
more sedate turn; and I find there is not one of the com- 
pany but myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of 
him as of that sort of man who is usually called a well- 
bred, fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where 
women are not concerned, he is an honest, worthy man. 
I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am 
next to speak of as one of our company, for he visits us 
but seldom; but when he does, it adds to every man else 
a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergyman, a very 
philosophic man, of general learning, great sanctity of 
life, and the most exact good breeding. He has the mis- 
fortune to be of a very weak constitution, and conse- 
quently cannot accept of such cares and business as 
preferments in his function would oblige him to; he is 


therefore among divines what a chamber-counselor is 
among lawyers. The probity of his mind and the integ- 
rity of his life create him followers, as being eloquent 
or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the sub- 
ject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in years 
that he observes, when he is among us, an earnestness 
to have him fall on some divine topic, which he always 
treats with much authority, as one who has no interest 
in this world, as one who is hastening to the object of 
all his wishes and conceives hope from his decays and 
infirmities. These are my ordinary companions. K. 

[Spectator No. 3. Saturday, March 3, lYll. Addison.] 

Quoi quisque fere studio devinctus adhwret: 
Aut quihus in rehus multum sumua ante morati; 
At que in qua ratione fuit contenta magis mens; 
In s<yrmUs eadem plerumque videmur ohire} 

— ^LucR. L. iv. 

In one of my late rambles, or rather speculations, I 
looked into the great hall where the Bank is kept, and 
was not a little pleased to see the directors, secretaries 
and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy 
corporation, ranged in their several stations, according 
to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. 
This revived in my memory the many discourses which I 
had both read and heard concerning the decay of public 
credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which, in 
my opinion, have always been defective, because they have 
always been made with an eye to separate interests, and 

The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment 
for the whole night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind 
of methodical dream, which disposed all my contempla- 
tions into a vision or allegory, or what else the reader 
shall please to call it. 

Methoughts I returned to the great hall, where I had 

^ What stories please, what most delight, 

And fill men's thoughts, they dream them o*er at night. 


been the morning before, but, to my surprise, instead of 
the company that I left there, I saw toward the upper 
end of the hall a beautiful virgin, seated on a throne of 
gold. Her name (as they told me) was Public Credit. 
The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and 
maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written 
in golden letters. At the upper end of the hall was the 
Magna Charta, with the Act of Uniformity on the right 
hand, and the Act of Toleration on the left. At the 
lower end of the hall was the Act of Settlement, which 
was placed full in the eye of the virgin that sat upon the 
throne. Both the sides of the hall were covered with 
such acts of parliament as had been made for the estab- 
lishment of public funds. The lady seemed to set an 
unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, 
insomuch that she often refreshed her eye with them, and 
often smiled with a secret pleasure, as she looked upon 
them; but, at the same time, showed a very particular 
uneasiness, as if she saw anything approaching that might 
hurt them. She appeared indeed infinitely timorous in 
all her behavior: and, whether it was from the delicacy 
of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapors, 
as I was afterwards told by one who I found was none of 
her well-wishers, she changed color, and startled at every- 
thing she heard. She was likewise (as I afterwards found) 
a greater valetudinarian than any I had ever met with, 
even in her own sex, and subject to such momentary con- 
sumptions, that in the twinkling of an eye, she would 
fall away from the most florid complexion, and the most 
healthful state of body, and wither into a skeleton. Her 
recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, insomuch 
that she would revive in a moment out of a wasting 
distemper, into a habit of the highest health and vigor. 

I had very soon an opportunity of observing these quick 
turns and changes in her constitution. There sat at her 
feet a couple of secretaries, who received every hour 
letters from all parts of the world, which the one or 
the other of them was perpetually reading to her; and, 


according to the news slie heard, to which she was ex- 
ceedingly attentive, she changed color, and discovered 
many symptoms of health or sickness. 

Behind the throne was a prodigious heap of bags of 
money, which were piled upon one another so high that 
they touched the ceiling. The floor, on her right hand 
and on her left, was covered with vast sums of gold that 
rose up in pyramids on either side of her. But this I 
did not so much wonder at, when I heard, upon inquiry, 
that she had the same virtue in her touch, which the 
poets tell us a Lydian king was formerly possessed of : and 
that she could convert whatever she pleased into that 
precious metal. 

After a little dizziness, and confused hurry of thought, 
which a man often meets with in a dream, methoughts 
the hall was alarmed, the doors flew open, and there 
entered half a dozen of the most hideous phantoms that 
I had ever seen (even in a dream) before that time. 
They came in two by two, though matched in the most 
dissociable manner, and mingled together in a kind of 
dance. It would be tedious to describe their habits and 
persons, lor which reason I shall only inform my reader 
that the first couple were Tyranny and Anarchy, the sec- 
ond were Bigotry and Atheism, the third the genius of 
a Commonwealth and a young man of about twenty-two 
years of age, whose name I could not learn. He had a 
sword in his right hand, which in the dance he often 
brandished at the Act of Settlement; and a citizen, who 
stood by me, whispered in my ear, that he saw a sponge in 
his left hand. The dance of so many jarring natures put 
me in mind of the sun, moon and earth, in the Rehearsal, 
that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one 

The reader will easily suppose, by what has been before 
said, that the lady on the throne would have been almost 
frightened to distraction, had she seen but any one of 
these specters; what then must have been her condition 


when she saw them all in a body? She fainted and died 
away at the sight. 

Et neque jam color est misto candor e rubor i; 
Nee vigor, et vires, et quae modo visa placebant; 
Nee corpus remanet. 

— Ovid. Met. Lib. iii. 

There was a great change in the hill of money bags, 
and the heaps of money, the former shrinking, and falling 
into so many empty bags, that I now found not above a 
tenth part of them had been fiUed with money. The rest 
that took up the same space, and made the same figure 
as the bags that were really filled with money, had been 
blown up with air, and called into my memory the bags 
full of wind, which Homer tells us his hero received as 
a present from ^olus. The great heaps of gold, on either 
side the throne, now appeared to be only heaps of paper, 
or little piles of notched sticks, bound up together in 
bundles, like Bath faggots. 

Whilst I was lamenting this sudden desolation that 
had been made before me, the whole scene vanished: in 
the room of the frightful specters, there now entered a 
second dance of apparitions very agreeably matched to- 
gether, and made up of very amiable phantoms. The 
first pair was Liberty with Monarchy at her right hand: 
the second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the 
third a person whom I had never seen, with the genius of 
Great Britain. At the first entrance the lady revived, the 
bag swelled to their former bulk, the piles of faggots and 
heaps of paper changed into pyramids of guineas: and 
for my own part I was so transported with joy, that I 
awaked, though I must confess, I would fain have fallen 
asleep again to have closed my vision, if I could have 
done it. 


f Spectator No. 7. Thursday March 8, lYll. Addison.] 

Sonmia, terrores magioos, miraoula, sagas, 

Nocturnes lemuresy portentaque Thessala rides? ^ — ^HoB. 

Going yesterday to dine with an old acquaintance, I 
liad the misfortune to find his whole family very much 
^iejected. Upon asking him the occasion of it, he told 
me that his wife had dreamt a strange dream the night 
iefore, which they were afraid portended some misfortune 
to themselves or to their children. At her coming into 
the room I observed a settled melancholy in her counte- 
nance, which I should have been troubled for, had I not 
heard from whence it proceeded. We were no sooner 
sat down but after having looked upon me a little while, 
^^My dear,'' (says she, turning to her husband) "you may 
now see the stranger that was in the candle last night." 
Soon after this, as they began to talk of family affairs, 
a little boy at the lower end of the table told her, that 
he was to go into join-hand on Thursday. "Thursday?'^ 
(says she,) "No, child, if it please God, you shall not 
begin upon Childermas-day : tell your writing-master that 
Friday will be soon enough." I was reflecting with my- 
self on the oddness of her fancy, and wondering that any- 
body would establish it as a rule to lose a day in every 
week. In the midst of these my musings, she desired me to 
reach her a little salt upon the point of my knife, which 
I did in such a trepidation and hurry of obedience, that 
I let it drop by the way ; at which she immediately startled, 
and said it fell towards her. Upon this I looked very 
blank; and, observing the concern of the whole table, 
began to consider myself, with some confusion, as a 
person that had brought a disaster upon the family. The 
lady however recovering herself, after a little space, said 
to her husband, with a sigh, "My dear, misfortunes never 
come single." My friend, I found, acted but an under 
part at his table, and being a man of more good-nature 

^ Visions and magic spells, can you despise, 
And laugh at witches, ghosts and prodigies. 


than understanding, thinks himself obliged to fall in with 
all the passions and humors of his yoke-fellow. "Do yon 
not remember, child," (says she,) "that the pigeon-house 
fell the very afternoon that our careless wench spilt the 
salt upon the table?" "Yes," (says he,) "my dear, and 
the next post brought us an account of the battle of 
Almanza." The reader may guess at the figure I mad^,. 
after having done all this mischief. I dispatched my 
dinner as soon as I could, with my usual taciturnity r 
when, to my utter confusion, the lady seeing me quitting 
my knife and fork, and laying them across one another 
upon my plate, desired me that I would humor her so far 
as to take them out of that figure, and place them side- 
by side. What the absurdity was which I had committed 
I did not know, but I suppose there was some traditionary 
superstition in it ; and therefore, in obedience to the lady 
of the house, I disposed of my knife and fork in two 
parallel lines, which is the figure I shall always lay 
them in for the future, though I do not know any reason 
for it. 

It is not difficult for a man to see that a person has 
conceived an aversion to him. For my own part, I quickly 
found, by the lady's looks, that she regarded me as a 
very odd kind of fellow, with an unfortunate aspect. For 
which reason I took my leave immediately after dinner, 
and withdrew to my own lodgings. Upon my return home, 
I fell into a profound contemplation of the evils that 
attend these superstitious follies of mankind; how they 
subject us to imaginary afflictions, and additional sorrows, 
that do not properly come within our lot. As if the 
natural calamities of life were not sufficient for it, we 
turn the most indifferent circumstances into misfortunes, 
and suffer as much from trifling accidents, as from real 
evils. I have known the shooting of a star spoil a nightfs 
rest; and have seen a man in love grow pale and lose 
his appetite, upon the plucking of a merry-thought. A 
screech-owl at midnight has alarmed a family more than 
a band of robbers ; nay, the voice of a cricket hath struck 


more terror than the roaring of a lion. There is nothing 
so inconsiderable, which may not appear dreadful to an 
imagination that is filled with omens and prognostics. 
A rusty nail, or a crooked pin, shoot up into prodigies. 

I remember I was once in a mixed assembly, that was 
full of noise and mirth, when on a sudden an old woman 
unluckily observed there were thirteen of us in company. 
This remark struck a panic terror into several who were 
present, insomuch that one or two of the ladies were going 
to leave the room; but a friend of mine taking notice 
that one of our female companions was big with child, 
affirmed there were fourteen in the room, and that, in- 
stead of portending one of the company should die, it 
plainly foretold one of them should be bom. Had not 
my friend found this expedient to break the omen, I 
question not but half the women in the company would 
have fallen sick that very night. 

An old maid, that is troubled with the vapors, produces 
infinite disturbances of this kind among her friends and 
neighbors. I know a maiden aunt of a great family, 
who is one of these antiquated Sibyls, that forebodes and 
prophesies from one end of the year to the other. She 
is always seeing apparitions, and hearing death-watches; 
and was the other day almost frighted out of her wits 
by the great house-dog, that howled in the stable at a 
time when she lay ill of the tooth-ache. Such an extrava- 
gant cast of mind engages multitudes of people not only 
in impertinent terrors, but in supernumerary duties of 
life; and arises from that fear and ignorance which are 
natural to the soul of man. The horror with which 
we entertain the thoughts of death (or indeed of any 
future evil) and the uncertainty of its approach, fill a 
melancholy mind with innumerable apprehensions and 
suspicions, and consequently dispose it to the observa- 
tion of such groundless prodigies and predictions. Eor 
as it is the chief concern of wise men to retrench the 
evils of life by the reasonings of philosophy; it is the 


employment of fools to multiply them by the sentiments 
of superstition. 

For my own part, I should be very much troubled were 
I endowed with this divining quality, though it should 
inform me truly of every thing that can befall me. I 
would not anticipate the relish of any happiness, nor 
feel the weight of any misery, before it actually arrives. 

I know but one way of fortifying my soul against 
these gloomy presages and terrors of mind, and that is, 
by securing to myself the friendship and protection of that 
Being who disposes of events, and governs futurity. He 
sees, at one view, the whole thread of my existence, not 
only that part of it which I have already passed through, 
but that which runs forward into all the depths of eter- 
nity. When I lay me down to sleep, I recommend myself 
to his care; when I awake, I give myself up to his direc* 
tion. Amidst all the evils that threaten me, I will look 
up to him for help, and question not but he will either 
avert them, or turn them to my advantage. Though I 
know neither the time nor the manner of the death I 
am to die, I am not at all solicitous about it; because I 
am sure that he knows them both, and that he will not 
fail to comfort and support me under them. 

[Spectator No. 10. Monday, March 12, 1711. Addison.] 

Non aliter quam qui adverse vix flumme lemhutn 
Remigiis suhigit: si hraohia forte remisit, 
Atque ilium in prwceps prono rapit alveus amni.^ — ViBG. 

It is with much satisfaction that I hear this great city 
inquiring day by day after these my papers, and receiving 
my morning lectures with a becoming seriousness and 
attention. My publisher tells me that there are already 
three thousand of them distributed every day. So that 
if I allow twenty readers to every paper, which I look 

* So the boat's brawny crew the current stem, 
And, slow advancing, struggle with the stream : 
But if they slack their hands or cease to strive, 
Then down the flood with headlong haste they drive. 

— Dryden. 


upon as a modest computation, I may reckon about three- 
score thousand disciples in London and Westminster, who ; 
I hope will take care to distinguish themselves from the 
thoughtless herd of their ignorant and unattentive breth- 
ren. Since I have raised to myseK so great an audi- 
ence, I shall spare no pains to make their instruction 
agreeable, and their diversion useful. For which reasons 
I shall endeavor to enliven morality with wit, and to 
temper wit with morality, that my readers may, if pos- 
sible, both ways find their account in the speculation of 
the day. And to the end that their virtue and discretion 
may not be short, transient, intermitting starts of thought, 
I have resolved to refresh their memories from day to day, 
till I have recovered them out of that desperate state of 
vice and folly into which the age is fallen. The mind 
that lies fallow but a single day, sprouts up in follies 
that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous 
culture. It was said of Socrates, that he brought philoso- 
phy down from heaven, to inhabit among men; and I 
shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have 
brought philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools 
and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea- 
tables and in coffee-houses. 

I would therefore in a very particular manner recom- 
mend these my speculations to aU well-regulated families, 
that set apart an hour in every morning for tea and 
bread and butter; and would earnestly advise them foi 
their good to order this paper to be punctually served up, 
and to be looked upon as a part of the tea-equipage. 

Sir Francis Bacon observes, that a well written book, 
compared with its rivals and antagonists, is like Moses's 
serpent, that immediately swallowed up and devoured 
those of the Egyptians. I shall not be so vain as to 
think, that where the Spectator appears, the other public 
prints will vanish; but shall leave it to my reader's con- 
sideration, whether, is it not much better to be let into 
the knowledge of one's self, than to hear what passes 
in Muscovy or Poland; and to amuse ourselves with such 


writings as tend to the wearing out of ignorance, passion, 
and prejudice, than such as naturally conduce to inflame 
hatreds, and make enmities irreconcilable? 

In the next place, I would recommend this paper to* 
the daily perusal of those gentlemen whom I cannot but 
consider as my good brothers and allies, I mean the 
fraternity of spectators, who live in the world without 
having anything to do in it; and either by the affluence 
of their fortunes, or laziness of their dispositions, have 
no other business with the rest of mankind, but to look 
upon them. Under this class of men are comprehen(3aJ 
all contemplative tradesmen, titular physicians, fellow& of 
the Eoyal Society, Templars that are not given to be 
contentious, and statesmen that are out of business; m 
short, every one that considers the world as a theater, 
and desires to form a right judgment of those who are 
the actors on it. 

There is another set of men that I must likewise lay 
a claim to, whom I have lately called the blanks of society, 
as being altogether unfurnished with ideas, till the busi- 
ness and conversation of the day has supplied them, I 
have often considered these poor souls with an eye of 
great commiseration, when I have heard them asking the 
first man they have met with, whether there was aiiy 
news stirring? and by that means gathering together 
materials for thinking. These needy persons do not know 
what to talk of, till about twelve o'clock in the morning; 
for by that time they are pretty good judges of the 
weather, know which way the wind sits, and whether the 
Dutch mail be come in. As they lie at the mercy of the 
first man they meet, and are grave or impertinent all 
the day long, according to the notions which they have 
imbibed in the morning, I would earnestly intreat thenr 
not to stir out of their chambers till they have read 
this paper, and do promise them that I will daily instil 
into them such sound and wholesome sentiments, as shall 
have a good effect on their conversation for the ensuing: 
twelve hours. 


But there are none to whom this paper will be more 
useful, than to the female world. I have often thought 
there has not been sufficient pains taken in finding out 
proper employments and diversions for the fair ones. 
Their amusements seem contrived for them, rather as they 
are women, than as they are reasonable creatures; and 
are more adapted to the sex than to the species. The 
toilet is their great scene of business, and the right 
adjusting of their hair the principal employment of their 
lives. The sorting of a suit of ribbons is reckoned a very 
good morning's work; and if they make an excursion to 
a mercer's or a toy-shop, so great a fatigue makes them 
unfit for anything else all the day after. Their more 
serious occupations are sewing and embroidery, and their 
greatest drudgery the preparation of jellies and sweet- 
meats. This, I say, is the state of ordinary women; 
though I know there are multitudes of those of a more 
elevated life and conversation, that move in an exalted 
sphere of knowledge and virtue, that join all the beauties 
of the mind to the ornaments of dress, and inspire a 
kind of awe and respect, as well as love, into their male 
beholder. I hope to increase the number of these by 
publishing this daily paper, which I shall always endeavor 
to make an innocent if not an improving entertainment, 
and by that means at least divert the minds of my female 
readers from greater trifles. At the same time, as I 
would fain give some finishing touches to those which 
are already the most beautiful pieces in human nature, I 
shall endeavor to point out all those imperfections that 
are the blemishes, as well as those virtues which are the 
embellishments of the sex. In the meanwhile I hope 
these my gentle readers, who have so much time on their 
hands, will not grudge throwing away a quarter of an 
hour in a day on this paper, since they may do it without 
any hindrance to business. 

I know several of my friends and well-wishers are in 
great pain for me, lest I should not be able to keep up 
the spirit of a paper which I oblige myself to furnish 


every day: but to make them easy in this particular, I 
will promise them faithfully to give it over as soon as I 
grow dull. This I know will be matter of great raillery 
to the small wits; who will frequently put me in mind 
of my promise, desire me to keep my word, assure me that 
it is high time to give over, with many other little pleas- 
antries of the like nature, which men of a little smart 
genius cannot forbear throwing out against their best 
friends, when they have such a handle given them of 
being witty. But let them remember that I do hereby 
enter my caveat against this piece of raillery. 

[Spectator No. 13. Thursday, March 16, 1711. 


Die tnihi, si fueras tu leo, qualis erisf^ — ^Mabt, 

There is nothing that of late years has afforded matter 
of greater amusement to the town than Siguier Nicolini's 
combat with a lion in the Haymarket, which has been 
very often exhibited to the general satisfaction of most 
of the nobility and gentry in the kingdom of Great 
Britain. Upon the first rumor of this intended combat, 
it was confidently affirmed, and is still believed by many 
in both galleries, that there would be a tame lion sent 
from the Tower every opera night, in order to be killed 
by Hydaspes; this report, though altogether groundless, 
so universally prevailed in the upper regions of the play- 
house, that some of the most refined politicians in those 
parts of the audience gave it out in whisper, that the 
lion was a cousin-german of the tiger who made his ap- 
pearance in King William's days, and that the stage 
would be supplied with lions at the public expense, during 
the whole session. Many likewise were the conjectures 
of the treatment which this lion was to meet with from 
the hands of Siguier Nicolini ; some supposed that he was 
to subdue him in recitative, as Orpheus used to serve 
the wild beasts in his time, and afterwards to knock him 

^ The doves are censured, while the crows are spared. 


on the head; some fancied that the lion would not pre- 
tend to lay his paws upon the hero, by reason of the 
received opinion, that a lion will not hurt a virgin: sev- 
eral, who pretended to have seen the opera in Italy, had 
informed their friends, that the lion was to act a part 
in High-Dutch, and roar twice or thrice to a thorough- 
base, before he fell at the feet of Hydaspes. To clear up 
a matter that was so variously reported, I have made it 
my business to examine whether this pretended lion is 
really the savage he appears to be, or only a counterfeit. 
But before I communicate my discoveries, I must ac- 
quaint the reader, that upon my walking behind the 
scenes last winter, as I was thinking on something else, 
I accidentally justled against a monstrous animal that 
extremely startled me, and upon my nearer survey of it, 
appeared to be a lion rampant. The lion, seeing me 
very much surprised, told me, in a gentle voice, that I 
might come by him if I pleased: "for," (says he,) "I 
do not intend to hurt anybody." I thanked him very 
kindly, and passed by him. And in a little time after 
saw him leap upon the stage, and act his part with very 
great applause. It has been observed by several, that 
the lion has changed his manner of acting twice or thrice 
since his first appearance; which will not seem strange, 
when I acquaint my reader that the lion has been changed 
upon the audience three several times. The first lion was 
a candle-snuffer, who being a fellow of a testy, choleric 
temper, overdid his part, and would not suffer himself 
to be killed so easily as he ought to have done; besides, 
it was observed of him, that he grew more surly every 
time he came out of the lion, and having dropt some 
words in ordinary conversation, as if he had not fought 
his best, and that he suffered himself to be thrown upon 
bis back in the scuffle, and that he would wrestle with Mr. 
Nicolin for what he pleased, out of his lion's skin, it 
was thought proper to discard him: and it is verily be- 
lieved, to this day, that had he been brought upon the 
stage another time, he would certainly have done mis- 


chief. Besides, it was objected against the first lion, that 
he reared himself so high upon his hinder paws, and 
walked in so erect a posture, that he looked more like an 
old man than a lion. 

The second lion was a tailor by trade, who belonged to 
the play-house, and had the character of a mild and peace- 
able man in his profession. If the former was too furious, 
this was too sheepish, for his part; insomuch that after 
a short modest walk upon the stage, he would fall at the 
first touch of Hydaspes, without grappling with him, 
and giving him an opportunity of showing his variety 
of Italian trips : it is said indeed, that he once gave him 
a rip in his flesh-colour doublet; but this was only to 
make work for himself, in his private character of a 
tailor. I must not omit that it was this second lion who 
treated me with so much humanity behind the scenes. 

The acting lion at present is, as I am informed, a 
country gentleman, who does it for his diversion, but 
desires his name may be concealed. He says very hand- 
somely in his own excuse, that he does not act for gain, 
that he indulges an innocent pleasure in it; and that it 
is better to pass away an evening in this manner, than 
in gaming and drinking : but at the same time says, with 
a very agreeable raillery upon himself, that if his name 
should be known, the ill-natured world might call him 
*^The ass in the lion's skin." This gentleman's temper 
is made out of such a happy mixture of the mild and 
the choleric, that he outdoes both his predecessors, and 
has drawn together greater audiences than have been 
known in the memory of man. 

I must not conclude my narrative, without taking 
notice of a groundless report that has been raised, to a 
gentleman's disadvantage of whom I must declare myself 
an admirer; namely, that Siguier Nicolini and the lion 
have been seen sitting peaceably by one another, and 
smoking a pipe together, behind the scenes; by which 
their common enemies would insinuate, that it is but a 
eham combat which they represent upon the stage: "but. 


upon inquiry I find, that if any sucli correspondence has 
passed between them, it was not till the combat was over, 
when the lion was to be looked upon as dead, according 
to the received rules of the drama. Besides, this is what 
is practised every day in Westminster hall, where nothing 
is more usual than to see a couple of lawyers, who have 
been tearing each other to pieces in the court, embracing 
one another as soon as they are out of it. 

I would not be thought, in any part of this relation, to 
reflect upon Siguier Nicolini, who in acting this part only 
complies with the wretched taste of his audience ; he knows 
very well, that the lion has many more admirers than 
himself; as they say of the famous equestrian statue on 
the Pont-Neuf at Paris, that more people go to see the 
horse, than the king who sits upon it. On the contrary, 
it gives me a just indignation to see a person whose 
action gives new majesty to kings, resolution to heroes, 
and softness to lovers, thus sinking from the greatness 
of his behavior, and degraded into the character of the 
London Prentice. I have often wished that our trage- 
dians would copy after this great master in action. Could 
they make the same use of their arms and legs, and 
inform their faces with as significant looks and passions, 
how glorious would an English tragedy appear with 
that action, which is capable of giving a dignity to the 
forced thoughts, cold conceits, and unnatural expressions 
of an Italian opera. In the mean time, I have related 
this combat of the lion, to show what are at present the 
reigning entertainments of the politer part of Great 

Audiences have often been reproached by writers for 
the coarseness of their tastes; but our present grievance 
does not seem to be the want of a good taste, but of 
common sense. 


[Spectator No. 28. Monday, April 2, 1711. Addison.] 

Neque semper arcum 
Tendit Appolo,^ — Hob. 

I shall here present my reader with a letter from a 
projector, concerping a new office which he thinks may 
very much contribute to the embellishment of the city, 
and to the driving barbarity out of our streets. I con- 
sider it as a satire upon projectors in general, and a lively 
picture of the whole art of modern criticism. 


'^Observing that you have thoughts of creating certain 
officers under you, for the inspection of several petty 
enormities which you yourseK cannot attend to ; and find- 
ing daily absurdities hung out upon the sign-post of this 
city, to the great scandal of foreigners, as well as those 
of our own country, who are curious spectators of the 
same: I do humbly propose, that you would be pleased 
to make me your superintendent of all such figures and 
devices as are or shall be made use of on this occasion; 
with full powers to rectify or expunge whatever I shall 
find irregular or defective. For want of such an officer, 
there is nothing like sound literature and good sense to 
be met with in those objects, that are everywhere thrust- 
ing themselves out to the eye, and endeavoring to become 
visible. Our streets are filled with blue boars, black 
swans, and red lions ; not to mention flying pigs, and hogs 
in armor, with many other creatures more extraordinary 
than any in the deserts of Africa. Strange ! that one who 
has all the birds and beasts in nature to choose out of, 
should live at the sign of an ens rationis! 

*'My first task therefore should be, like that of Hercules, 
to clear the city from monsters. In the second place I 
would forbid that creatures of jarring and incongruous 
natures should be joined together in the same sign; such 

* Nor does Apollo always bend his bow. 


as the Bell and the Neat's Tongue, the Dog and Gridiron. 
The Fox and the Goose may be supposed to have met; 
but what has the Fox and the Seven Stars to do together ? 
And when did the Lamb and Dolphin ever meet, except 
upon a sign-post? As for the Cat and the Fiddle, there 
is a conceit in it; and therefore I do not intend that any 
thing I have here said should affect it. I must however 
observe to you upon this subject, that it is usual for a 
young tradesman, at his first setting up, to add to his 
sign that of the master whom he served; as the husband 
after marriage, gives a place to his mistress's arms in his 
own coat. This I take to have given rise to many of 
those absurdities which are committed over our heads; 
and, as I am informed, first occasioned the Three Nuns 
and a Hare, which we see so frequently joined together. 
I would therefore establish certain rules, for the deter- 
mining how far one tradesman may give the sign of 
another, and in what cases he may be allowed to quarter 
it with his own. 

"In the third place, I would enjoin every shop to make 
use of a sign which bears some affinity to the wares in 
which it deals. What can be more inconsistent, than to 
see a bawd at the sign of the Angel, or a tailor at the 
Lion? A cook should not live at the Boot, nor a shoe- 
maker at the Boasted Pig; and yet, for want of this 
regulation, I have seen a goat set up before the door of 
a perfumer, and the French king's head at a sword-cutler's. 

"An ingenious foreigner observes, that several of those 
gentlemen who value themselves upon their families, and 
overlook such as are bred to trade, bear the tools of their 
forefathers in their coats of arms. I will not examine 
how true this is in fact : but though it may not be neces- 
sary for posterity thus to set up the sign of their fore- 
fathers, I think it highly proper for those who actually 
profess the trade, to show some such marks of it before 
their doors. 

"When the name gives an occasion for an ingenious 
sign-post, I would likewise advise the owner to take that 


opportunity of letting the world know wlio lie is. It 
would have been ridiculous for the ingenious Mrs. Salmon 
to have lived at the sign of the Trout; for which reason 
she has erected before her house the figure of the fish that 
is her name-sake. Mr. Bell has likewise distinguished 
himself by a device of the same nature: and here, Sir, I 
must beg leave to observe to you, that this particular 
figure of a bell has given occasion to several pieces of 
wit in this kind. A man of your reading must know that 
Abel Drugger gained great applause by it in the time of 
Ben Jonson. Our apocryphal heathen god is also repre- 
sented by this figure; which, in conjunction with the 
dragon, makes a very handsome picture in several of our 
streets. As for the Bell Savage, which is the sign of 
a savage man standing by a bell, I was formerly very 
much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till I accidentally 
fell into the reading of an old romance translated out of 
the French; which gives an account of a very beautiful 
woman who was found in the wilderness, and is called in 
the French La Belle Sauvage; and is everywhere trans- 
lated by our countrymen the Bell Savage. This piece 
of philology will, I hope, convince you that I have made 
signposts my study, and consequently qualified myself for 
the employment which I solicit at your hands. But be- 
fore I conclude my letter, I must communicate to you 
another remark which I have made upon the subject with 
which I am now entertaining you, namely/ that I can 
give a shrewd guess at the humor of the inhabitant by 
the sign that hangs before his door. A surly choleric 
fellow, generally makes choice of a bear; as men of milder 
dispositions frequently live at the Lamb. Seeing a punch- 
bowl painted upon a sign near Charing Cross, and very 
curiously garnished, with a couple of angels hovering over 
it, and squeezing a lemon into it, I had the curiosity 
to ask after the master of the house, and found upon 
inquiry, as I had guessed by the little agremen^ upon his 
sign, that he was a Frenchman. I know, Sir, it is not 
requisite for me to enlarge upon these hints to a gentleman 


of your great abilities; so humbly recommending myself 
to your favor and patronage, 

**I remain, etc/' 

I shall add to the foregoing letter another, which came 
to me by the same penny-post. 

'Trom my own apartment near Charing Cross. 

"Having heard that this nation is a great encourager 
of ingenuity, I have brought with me a rope-dancer that 
was caught in one of the woods belonging to the Great 
Mogul. He is by birth a monkey; but swings upon a 
rope, takes a pipe of tobacco, and drinks a glass of ale, 
like any reasonable creature. He gives great satisfaction 
to the quality; and if they will make a subscription for 
him, I will send for a brother of his out of Holland that 
is a very good tumbler; and also for another of the same 
family whom I design lor my Merry- Andrew, as being 
an excellent mimic, and the greatest droll in the country 
where he now is. I hope to have thTs entertainment in 
readiness for the next winter; and doubt not but it will 
please more than the opera or puppet-show. I will not 
say that a monkey is a better man than some of the opera 
heroes; but certainly he is a better representative of a 
man, than the most artificial composition of wood and 
wire. If you will be pleased to give me a good word in 
your paper, you shall be every night a spectator at my 
show for nothing, 

'1 am, etc." 

[Spectator No. 35. Tuesday, April 10, lYll. Addison.] 

Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est} — Mart. 

Among all kinds of writing, there is none in which 
authors are more apt to miscarry than in works of humor, 
as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excel. 

* Unbred to spinning, in the loom unskilled.— Dryden. 


It is not an imagination that teems with monsters, an 
head that is filled with extravagant conceptions, which 
is capable of furnishing the world with diversions of this 
nature; and yet if we look into the productions of several 
writers, who set up men of humor, what wild irregular 
fancies, what unnatural distortions of thought, do we 
meet with? If they speak nonsense, they believe they 
are talking humor; and when they have drawn together 
a scheme of absurd inconsistent ideas, they are not able 
to read it over to themselves without laughing. These 
poor gentlemen endeavor to gain themselves the reputa- 
tion of wits and humorists, by such monstrous conceits 
as almost qualify them for Bedlam; not considering that 
humor should always lie under the check of reason, and 
that it requires the direction of the nicest judgment, by 
so much the more as it indulges itseH in the most bound- 
less freedoms. There is a kind of nature that is to 
be observed in this sort of compositions, as well as in all 
other; and a certain regularity of thought which must 
discover the writer to be a man of sense, at the same 
time that he appears altogether given up to caprice. For 
my part, when I read the delirious mirth of an unskilful 
author, I cannot be so barbarous as to divert myself with 
it, but am rather apt to pity the man, than to laugh at 
anything he writes. 

The deceased Mr. Shadwell, who had himself a great 
deal of the talent which I am treating of, represents an 
empty rake, in one of his plays, as very much surprised 
to hear one say that breaking of windows was not humor ; 
and I question not but several English readers will be 
as much startled to hear me affirm, that many of those 
raving incoherent pieces, which are often spread among 
us, under odd chimerical titles, are rather the offsprings 
of a distempered brain, than works of humor. 

It is indeed much easier to describe what is not humor, 
than what is ; and very difficult to define it otherwise than 
as Cowley has done wit, by negatives. Were I to give 
my own notions of it, I would deliver them after Plato's 


manner, in a kind of allegory, and by supposing Humor 
to be a person, deduce to him all his qualifications, accord- 
ing to the following genealogy. Truth was the founder 
of the family, and the father of Good Sense. Good Sense 
was the father of Wit, who married a lady of a collateral 
line called Mirth, by whom he had issue Humor. Humor 
therefore being the youngest of this illustrious family, and 
descended from parents of such different dispositions, is 
very various and unequal in his temper; sometimes you 
see him putting on grave looks and a solemn habit, some- 
times airy in his behavior, and fantastic in his dress: 
insomuch that at different times he appears as serious as a 
judge, and as jocular as a Merry- Andrew. But as he has 
a great deal of the mother in his constitution, whatever 
mood he is in, he never fails to make his company laugh. 

But since there is an impostor abroad, who takes upon 
him the name of this young gentleman, and would will- 
ingly pass for him in the world; to the end that well- 
meaning persons may not be imposed upon by cheats, I 
would desire my readers, when they meet with this pre- 
tender, to look into his parentage, and to examine him 
strictly, whether or no he be remotely allied to Truth, and 
lineally descended from Good Sense; if not, they may con- 
clude him a counterfeit. They may likewise distinguish 
him by a loud and excessive laughter, in which he seldom 
gets his company to join with him. For as True Humor 
generally looks serious, while everybody laughs about him ; 
False Humor is always laughing, whilst everybody about 
him looks serious. I shall only add, if he has not in him 
a mixture of both parents, that is, if he would pass for 
the offspring of Wit without Mirth, or Mirth without Wit, 
you may conclude him to be altogether spurious, and a 

The impostor of whom I am speaking, descends origi- 
nally from Falsehood, who was the mother of Nonsense, 
who was brought to bed of a son called Frenzy, who 
married one of the daughters of Folly, commonly known 
by the name of Laughter, on whom he begot that mon- 


strous infant of which I have been here speaking. I 
shall set down at length the genealogical table of False 
Humor, and, at the same time, place under it the gene- 
alogy of True Humor, that the reader may at one view 
behold their different pedigrees and relations. 


Frenzy. ^Laughter. 

False Humor. 

Good Sense. 

Wit. Mirth. 


I might extend the allegory, by mentioning several of the 
children of False Humor, who are more in number than 
the sands of the sea, and might in particular enumerate 
the many sons and daughters which he has begot in this 
island. But as this would be a very invidious task, I 
shall only observe in general, that False Humor differs 
from the True, as a monkey does from a man. 

First of all, he is exceedingly given to little apish tricks 
and buffooneries. 

Secondly, he so much delights in mimicry, that it is all 
one to him whether he exposes by it vice and folly, luxury 
and avarice; or, on the contrary, virtue and wisdom, pain 
and poverty. 

Thirdly, he is wonderfully unlucky, insomuch that he 
will bite the hand that feeds him, and endeavor to ridicule 
both friends and foes indifferently. For having but small 
talents, he must be merry where he can, not where he 

Fourthly, being entirely void of reason, he pursues no 
point either of morality or instruction, but is ludicrous 
only for the sake of being so. 

Fifthly, being incapable of anything but mock repre- 


sentations, his ridicule is always personal, and aimed at 
the vicious man, or the writer; not at the vice, or at the 

I have here only pointed at the whole species of false 
humorists; but, as one of my principal designs in this 
paper is to beat down that malignant spirit, which dis- 
covers itself in the writings of the present age, I shall 
not scruple, for the future, to single out any of the 
small wits, that infest the world with such compositions 
as are ill-natured, immoral and absurd. This is the only 
exception which I shall make to the general rule I have 
prescribed myself, of attacking multitudes: since every 
honest man ought to look upon himself as in a natural 
state of war with the libeler and lampooner, and to annoy 
them wherever they fall in his way. This is but retaliat- 
ing upon them, and treating them as they treat others. 

[Spectator No. 6. Wednesday, March 7, lYll. Steele.] 

Credebant hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum. 
Si juvenis vetulo non aasurrexerat- 


I know no evil under the sun so great as the abuse of 
the understanding, and yet there is no one vice more 
common. It has diffused itself through both sexes and 
all qualities of mankind, and there is hardly that person 
to be found who is not more concerned for the reputation 
of wit and sense, than honesty and virtue. But this un- 
happy affectation of being wise rather than honest, witty 
than good-natured, is the source of most of the ill habits 
of life. Such false impressions are owing to the aban- 
doned writings of men of wit, and the awkward imitation 
of the rest of mankind. 

*" 'Twas impious then (so much was age revered) 

For youth to keep their seats when an old man appeared." 


Eor this reason, Sir Eoger was saying last night that he 
was of opinion that none but men of fine parts deserve 
to be hanged. The reflections of such men are so delicate 
upon all occurrences which they are concerned in, that 
they should be exposed to more than ordinary infamy 
and punishment for offending against such quick admoni- 
tions as their own souls give them, and blunting the fine 
edge of their minds in such a manner that they are 
no more shocked at vice and folly than men of slower 
capacities. There is no greater monster in being than 
a very ill man of great parts. He lives like a man in a 
palsy, with one side of him dead. While perhaps he en- 
joys the satisfaction of luxury, of wealth, of ambition, he 
has lost the taste of good-will, of friendship, of innocence. 
Scarecrow, the beggar in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, who dis- 
abled himself in his right leg and asks alms all day to 
get himself a warm supper at night, is not half so despic- 
able a wretch as such a man of sense. The beggar has 
no relish above sensations; he finds rest more agreeable 
than motion, and while he has a warm fire, never reflects 
that he deserves to be whipped. 

"Every man who terminates his satisfaction and enjoy- 
ments within the supply of his own necessities and pas- 
sions, is," says Sir Roger, "in my eye, as poor a rogue as 
Scarecrow. But," continued he, "for the loss of public 
and private virtue we are beholden to your men of fine 
parts, forsooth; it is with them no matter what is done, 
so it is done with an air. But to me, who am so whim- 
sical in a corrupt age as to act according to nature and 
reason, a selfish man in the most shining circumstance 
and equipage appears in the same condition with the 
fellow above-mentioned, but more contemptible in pro- 
portion to what more he robs the public of and enjoys 
above him. I lay it down therefore for a rule, that the 
whole man is to move together; that every action of any 
importance is to have a prospect of public good; and 
that the general tendency of our indifferent actions ought 
to be agreeable to the dictates of reason, of religion, of 


good-breeding: without this, a man, as I have before 
hinted, is hopping instead of walking; he is not in his 
entire and proper motion." 

While the honest knight was thus bewildering himself 
in good starts, I looked intentively upon him, which 
made him, I thought, collect his mind a little. ^What I 
aim at," says he, "is to represent that I am of opinion, 
to polish our understandings and neglect our manners is 
of all things the most inexcusable. Reason should govern 
passion, but instead of that, you see, it is often sub- 
servient to it; and as unaccountable as one would think 
it, a wise man is not always a good man." 

This degeneracy is not only the guilt of particular 
persons, but also at some times of a whole people; and 
perhaps it may appear upon examination that the most 
polite ages are the least virtuous. This may be attibuted 
to the folly of admitting wit and learning as merit in 
themselves, without considering the application of them. 
By this means it becomes a rule not so much to regard 
what we do, as how we do it. But this false beauty will 
not pass upon men of honest minds and true taste. Sir 
Richard Blackmore says, with as much good sense as 
virtue: "It is a mighty dishonor and shame to employ 
excellent faculties and abundance of wit, to humor and 
please men in their vices and follies. The great Enemy 
of Mankind, notwithstanding his wit and angelic faculties, 
is the most odious being in the whole creation." He goes 
on soon after to say, very generously, that he undertook 
writing of his poem "to rescue the Muses, to restore them 
to their sweet and chaste mansions, and to engage them 
in an employment suitable to their dignity." This cer- 
tainly ought to be the purpose of every man who appears 
in public, and whoever does not proceed upon that foun- 
dation, injures his country as fast as he succeeds in 
his studies. When modesty ceases to be the chief orna- 
ment of one sex and integrity of the other, society is 
upon a wrong basis, and we shall be ever after without 
rules to guide our judgment in what is really becoming 


and ornamental. Nature and reason direct one thing, 
passion and humor another. To follow the dictates of 
these two latter, is going into a road that is both endless 
and intricate; when we pursue the other, our passage 
is delightful, and what we aim at easily attainable. 

I do not doubt but England is at present as polite a 
nation as any in the world; but any man who thinks can 
easily see that the affectation of being gay and in fashion 
has very near eaten up our good sense and our religion. 
Is there anything so just, as that mode and gallantry 
should be built upon exerting ourselves in what is proper 
and agreeable to the institutions of justice and piety 
among us? And yet is there anything more common, 
than that we run in perfect contradiction to them? All 
which is supported by no other pretension than that it is 
done with what we call a good grace. 

Nothing ought to be held laudable, or becoming, but 
what nature itself should prompt us to think so. Respect 
to all kind of superiors is founded, methinks, upon in- 
stinct; and yet what is so ridiculous as age? I make this 
abrupt transition to the mention of this vice more than 
any other, in order to introduce a little story, which I 
think a pretty instance that the most polite age is in 
danger of being the most vicious. 

It happened at Athens, during a public representation 
of some play exhibited in honor of the commonwealth, 
that an old gentleman came too late for a place suitable 
to his age and quality. Many of the young gentlemen 
who observe the difficulty and confusion he was in, made 
signs to him that they would accommodate him if he 
came where they sat. The good man bustled through the 
crowd accordingly ; but when he came to the seats to which 
he was invited, the jest was to sit close and expose him, 
as he stood out of countenance, to the whole audience. 
The frolic went round all the Athenian benches. But 
on those occasions there were also particular spaces as- 
signed for foreigners. When the good man skulked to- 
ward the boxes appointed for the Lacedemonians, that 


honest people, more virtuous than polite, rose up all to 
a man, and with the greatest respect received him among 
them. The Athenians being suddenly touched with a 
sense of the Spartan virtue and their own degeneracy, 
gave a thunder of applause; and the old man cried out, 
"The Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacede- 
monians practise it." 

[Spectator No. 9. Saturday, March 10, 1710-11. 

^Tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem 

Perpetuam, saevis inter se convenit ursis.^ 

— Juv. Sat. XV. 163. 

Man is said to be a sociable animal, and, as an instance 
of it, we may observe that we take all occasions and 
pretensions of forming ourselves into those little nocturnal 
assemblies, which are commonly known by the name of 
clubs. When a set of men find themselves agree in any 
particular, though never so trivial, they establish them- 
selves into a kind of fraternity, and meet once or twice 
a week upon the account of such a fantastic resemblance. 
I know a considerable market-town in which there was 
a club of fat men, that did not come together (as you may 
well suppose) to entertain one another with sprightliness 
and wit, but to keep one another in countenance. The 
room where the club met was something of the largest, 
and had two entrances; the one by a door of moderate 
size, and the other by a pair of folding doors. If a candi- 
date for this corpulent club could make his entrance 
through the first, he was looked upon as unqualified; but 
if he stuck in the passage, and could not force his way 
through it, the folding doors were immediately thrown 
open for his reception, and he was saluted as a brother. 

' Tiger with tiger, bear with bear, you'll find 
In leagues offensive and defensive join'd. 


I have heard that this club, though it consisted but of 
fifteen persons, weighed above three ton. 

In opposition to this society, there sprung up another 
composed of scarecrows and skeletons, who, being very- 
meager and envious, did all they could to thwart the de- 
signs of their bulky brethren, whom they represented as 
men of dangerous principles, till at length they worked 
them out of the favor of the people, and consequently out 
of the magistracy. These factions tore the corporation 
in pieces for several years, till at length they came to this 
accommodation: that the two bailiffs of the town should 
be annually chosen out of the two clubs; by which means 
the principal magistrates are at this day coupled like 
rabbits, one fat and one lean. 

Every one has heard of the club, or rather the con- 
federacy, of the Kings. This grand alliance was formed 
a little after the return of King Charles the Second, and 
admitted into it men of all qualities and professions, pro- 
vided they agreed in this surname of King, which, as 
they imagined, sufficiently declared the owners of it to 
be altogether untainted with republican and anti-mon- 
archical principles. 

A Christian name has likewise been often used as a 
badge of distinction, and made the occasion of a club. 
That of the George's which used to meet at the sign of the 
George on St. George's day, and swear, "Before George,'^ 
is still fresh in every one's memory. 

There are at present in several parts of this city what 
they call street clubs, in which the chief inhabitants of 
the street converse together every night. I remember, 
upon my inquiring after lodgings in Ormond Street, the 
landlord, to recommend that quarter of the town, told me 
there was at that time a very good club in it; he also 
told me, upon further discourse with him, that two or 
three noisy country squires, who were settled there the 
year before, had conisderably sunk the price of house- 
rent; and that the club (to prevent the like inconven- 


iences for the future) had thoughts of taking every house 
that became vacant into their own hands, till they had 
found a tenant for it of a sociable nature and good 

The Hum-Drum club, of which I was formerly an 
unworthy member, was made up of very honest gentle- 
men of peaceable dispositions, that used to sit together, 
smoke their pipes, and say nothing till midnight. The 
Mum club (as I am informed) is an institution of the 
same nature, and as great an enemy to noise. 

After these two innocent societies, I cannot forbear 
mentioning a very mischievous one, that was erected in 
the reign of King Charles the Second: I mean the club 
of Duellists, in which none was to be admitted that had 
not fought his man. The president of it was said to 
have killed half-a-dozen in single combat; and, as for 
the other members, they took their seats according to 
the number of their slain. There was likewise a side- 
table, for such as had only drawn blood, and shown a 
laudable ambition of taking the first opportunity to 
qualify themselves for the first table. This club, consist- 
ing only of men of honor, did not continue long, most of 
the members of it being put to the sword, or hanged, a 
little after its institution. 

Our modern celebrated clubs are founded upon eating 
and drinking, which are points wherein most men agree, 
and in which the learned and illiterate, the dull and the 
airy, the philosopher and the buffoon, can all of them bear 
a part. The Kit-cat^ itself is said to have taken its 
original from a mutton-pie. The Beef-steak 2 and October 

^ This club took its name from Christopher Cat, a maker of 
mutton pies ; it was originally formed in Shire Lane, for a little 
free evening conversation, about the time of the trial of the 
seven bishops ; in Queen Anne's reign the club consisted of numer- 
ous peers and gentry who were firm friends to the Hanoverian 

2 Of this club, it is said, that Mrs. Woflangton, the only woman 
in it, was president ; Richard Estcourt, the comedian, was their 
providore, and, as an honorable badge of his office, wore a small 
gridiron of gold hung round his neck with a green silk riband. 


clubs * are neither of them averse to eating and drinking, 
if we may form a judgment of them from their respective 

When men are thus knit together by a love of society, 
not a spirit of faction, and do not meet to censure or 
annoy those that are absent, but to enjoy one another; 
when they are thus combined for their own improvement, 
or for the good of others, or at least to relax themselves 
from the business of the day, by an innocent and cheerful 
conversation, there may be something very useful in these 
little institutions and establishments. 

I cannot forbear concluding this paper with a scheme 
of laws that I met with upon a wall in a little alehouse. 
How I came thither I may inform my reader at a more 
convenient time. These laws were enacted by a knot of 
artisans and mechanics, who used to meet every night; 
and, as there is something in them which gives us a 
pretty picture of low life, I shall transcribe them word 
for word. 


To he observed in the Two-penny cluh, erected in this 
place for the preservation of friendship and good 

I. Every member at his first coming in shall lay down 
his two-pence. 

II. Every member shall fill his pipe out of his own box. 

III. If any member absents himself, he shall forfeit a 
penny for the use of the club, unless in case of sickness 
or imprisonment. 

IV. If any member swears or curses, his neighbor may 
give him a kick upon the shins. 

V. If any member tells stories in the club that are not 
true, he shall forfeit for every third lie a haKpenny. 

^ The October Club was held at the Bell Tavern, King Street, 
Westminster, and chiefly consisted of Tory squires, who drank 
perdition to all foreigners in draughts of October ale. 


VI. If any member strikes another wrongfully, he shall 
pay his club for him. 

VII. If any member brings his wife into the club, he 
shall pay for whatever she drinks or smokes. 

VIII. If any member's wife comes to fetch him home 
from the club, she shall speak to him without the door. 

IX. If any member calls another a cuckold, he shall 
be turned out of the club. 

X. None shall be admitted into the club that is of the 
same trade with any member of it. 

XI. None of the club shall have his clothes or shoes 
made or mended, but by a brother member. 

XII. No non-juror shall be capable of being a member. 

The morality of this little club is guarded by such 
wholesome laws and penalties, that I question not but my 
reader will be as well pleased with them, as he would 
have been with the Leges Convivales of Ben Jonson, the 
regulations of an old Roman club cited by Lipsius, or the 
rules of a Symposium in an ancient Greek author. C. 

[Spectator No. 17. Tuesday, March 20, 1710-11. 

— ^Tetrum ante omnia vultum.* 

— Juv. X. 191. 

Since our persons are not of our own making, when they 
are such as appear defective or uncomely, it is, methinks, 
an honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be ugly; at 
least to keep ourselves from being abashed with a con- 
sciousness of imperfections which we cannot help, and in 
which there is no guilt. I would not defend a haggard 
beau, for passing away much time at a glass, and giving 
softnesses and languishing graces to deformity, all I in- 
tend is, that we ought to be contented with our counte- 

-A visage rough, 

Deformed, unfeatured. 


nance and shape, so far as never to give ourselves an 
uneasy reflection on that subject. It is to the ordinary 
people, who are not accustomed to make very proper re- 
marks on any occasion, matter of great jest, if a man 
enters with a prominent pair of shoulders into an as- 
sembly, or is distinguished by an expansion of mouth, or 
obliquity of aspect. It is happy for a man that has any 
of these oddnesses about him, if he can be as merry upon 
himself, as others are apt to be upon that occasion."* When 
he can possess himseK with such a cheerfulness, women 
and children, who were at first frightened at him, will 
afterwards be as much pleased with him. As it is bar- 
barous in others to rally him for natural defects, it is 
extremely agreeable when he can jest upon himself for 

Madame Maintenon's first husband 2 was a hero in this 
kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregu- 
larity of his shape, which he describes as very much re- 
sembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewise by 
representing to his reader the make of an engine and 
pulley, with which he used to take off his hat. When 
there happens to be anything ridiculous in a visage, and 
the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dignity, he must be 
of very great quality to be exempt from raillery. The 
best expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himseK. 
Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakespeare, have carried 
the ridicule upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Fal- 
staff is humorously called woolsack, bed-pressed, and hill 
of flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elves-skin, a sheath, a 
bow-case, and a tuck. There is, in several incidents of 
the conversation between them, the jest still kept up 
upon the person. Great tenderness and sensibility in 
this point is one of the greatest weaknesses of seK-love. 
For my own part, I am a little unhappy in the mold of 

* And through the whole host, from a woman's longing for 
the prey and spoils with heedless ardor roamed. — Vir. ^n. xi. 782. 

- Abbe Paul Scarron, the burlesque writer, who was deformed 
from his birth. 


my face, whicli is not quite so long as it is broad. 
Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my 
mouth much seldomer than other people, and by conse- 
quence not so much lengthening the fibers of my visage, 
I am not at leisure to determine. However it be, I have 
been often put out of countenance by the shortness of 
my face, and was formerly at great pains in concealing it 
by wearing a periwig with a high foretop, and letting my 
beard grow. But now I have thoroughly got over this 
delicacy, and could be contented it were much shorter, 
provided it might qualify me for a member of the merry 
club which the following letter gives me an account of. 
I have received it from Oxford; and as it abounds with 
the spirit of mirth and good-humor which is natural to 
that place, I shall set it down word for word as it came 
to me. 

"Most Profound Sir, 

"Having been very well entertained, in the last of your 
speculations that I have yet seen, by your specimen upon 
clubs, which I therefore hope you will continue, I shall 
take the liberty to furnish you with a brief account of 
such a one as perhaps you have not seen in all your 
travels, unless it was your fortune to touch upon some of 
the woody parts of the African continent, in your voyage 
to or from Grand Cairo. There have arose in this uni- 
versity (long since you left us without saying anything) 
several of these inferior hebdomadal societies, as the 
Punning Club, the Witty Club, and, amongst the rest, 
the Handsome Club ; as a burlesque upon which, a certain 
merry species, that seem to have come into the world in 
masquerade, for some years last past have associated 
themselves together, and assumed the name of the Ugly 
Club. This ill-favored fraternity consists of a president 
and twelve fellows; the choice of which is not confined 
by patent to any particular foundation (as St. John's 
men would have the world believe, and have therefore 
erected a separate society within themselves), but liberty 


is left to elect from any school in Great Britain, provided 
the candidates be within the rules of the club, as set 
forth in a table, entitled The Act of Deformity; a clause 
or two of which I shall transmit to you: — 

^^I. That no person whatsoever shall be admitted with- 
out a visible queerity in his aspect, or peculiar cast of 
countenance; of which the president and officers for the 
time being are to determine, and the president to have 
the casting voice. 

"II. That a singular regard be had, upon examination, 
to the biggosity of the gentlemen that offer themselves as 
founder's kinsmen; or to the obliquity of their figure, in 
what sort soever. 

"III. That if the quantity of any man's nos6 be emi- 
nently miscalculated, whether as to length or breadth, 
he shall have a just pretence to be elected. 

^Xastly, That if there shall be two or more competitors 
for the same vacancy, coeteris paribus ^ he that has the 
thickest skin to have the preference. 

"Every fresh member, upon his first night, is to enter- 
tain the company with a dish of cod-fish, and a speech in 
praise of -^sop ; ^ whose portraiture they have in full 
proportion, or rather disproportion, over the chimney; 
and their design is, as soon as their funds are sufficient, 
to purchase the heads of Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron, 
Hudibras, and the old gentleman in Oldham, with all the 
celebrated ill faces of antiquity, as furniture for the club- 

"As they have always been professed admirers of the 
other sex, so they unanimously declare that they will give 
all possible encouragement to such as will take the bene- 
fit of the statute, though none yet have appeared to do it. 

"The worthy president, who is their most devoted cham- 
pion, has lately shown me two copies of verses, composed 
by a gentleman of his society: the first, a congratulatory 
ode, inscribed to Mrs. Touchwood, upon the loss of her 

^ iEsop was said to be "the most deformed of all men of his 


two fore-teeth; the other, a panegyric upon Mrs. And- 
iron's left shoulder. Mrs. Vizard (he says), since the 
small-pox, is grown tolerably ugly, and a top toast in the 
club; but I never heard him so lavish of his fine things, 
as upon old Nell Trot, who constantly officiates at their 
table; her he even adores and extols as the very coun- 
terpart of Mother Shipton; in short, Nell (says he) is one 
of the extraordinary works of nature; but as for com- 
plexion, shape, and features, so valued by others, they are 
all mere outside and symmetry, which is his aversion. 
Give me leave to add, that the president is a facetious, 
pleasant gentleman, and never more so than when he has 
got (as he calls them) his dear mummers about him; and 
he often protests it does him good to meet a fellow with 
a right genuine grimace in his air (which is so agreeable 
in the generality of the French nation) ; and, as an in- 
stance of his sincerity in this particular, he gave me a 
sight of a list in his pocket-book of all of this class who 
for these five years have fallen under his observation, with 
himseK at the head of them, and in the rear (as one of 
a promising and improving aspect), 

"Sir, your obliged and humble servant, 

"Alex. Carbuncle." 
Oxford, March 12, 1710. 

[Spectator No. 18. Wednesday, March 21, 1710-11. 

— Equitis quoque jam migravlt ab aure voluptas 
Omnis ad incertos oculos et gaudia vana.* 


It is my design in this paper to deliver down to pos- 
terity a faithful account of the Italian Opera, and of the 
gradual progress which it has made upon the English 

^ But now our nobles too are fops and vain, 
Neglect the sense, but love the painted scene. 


stage: For there is no question but our great grandchil- 
dren will be very curious to know the reason why their 
forefathers used to sit together like an audience of for- 
eigners in their own country, and to hear whole plays 
acted before them in a tongue which they did not under- 

Arsinoe ^ was the first opera that gave us a taste of 
Italian music. The great success this opera met with, 
produced some attempts of forming pieces upon Italian 
plans, which should give a more natural and reasonable 
entertainment than what can be met with in the elab- 
orate trifles of that nation. This alarmed the poetasters 
and fiddlers of the town, who were used to deal in a more 
ordinary kind of ware; and therefore laid down an estab- 
lished rule, which is received as such to this day, That 
nothing is capable of heing well set to music, that is not 

This maxim was no sooner received, but we immedi- 
ately fell to translating the Italian operas; and as there 
was no great danger of hurting the sense of those extraor- 
dinary pieces, our authors would often make words of 
their own which were entirely foreign to the meaning of 
the passages they pretended to translate; their chief care 
being to make the numbers of the English verse answer to 
those of the Italian, that both of them might go to the 
same tune. Thus the famous song in Camilla, 

"Barbara si t' intendo," &c. 
''Barbarous woman, yes, I know your meaning," 

which expresses the resentments of an angry lover, was 
translated into that English lamentation — 

"Frail are a lover's hopes," &c. 

And it was pleasant enough to see the most refined per- 
sons of the British nation dying away and languishing to 

* Arsinoe, produced at Dniry Liane in 1705. No doubt the 
failure of his English opera ^'Rosamond'* gave to Addison's criti- 
cisms upon Italian opera an additional bitterness. 


notes that were filled with a spirit of rage and indigna- 
tion. It happened also very frequently, where the sense 
was rightly translated, the necessary transposition of 
words which were drawn out of the phrase of one tongue 
into that of another, made the music appear very absurd 
in one tongue that was very natural in the other. I re- 
member an Italian verse that ran thus word for word. 

^'And turn'd my rage into pity;" 

which the English for rhyme sake translated, 

''And into pity turn'd my rage." 

By this means the soft notes that were adapted to pity in 
the Italian, fell upon the word rage in the English; and 
the angry sounds that were turned to rage in the orig- 
inal, were made to express pity in the translation. It 
oftentimes happened likewise, that the finest notes in the 
air fell upon the most insignificant words in the sen- 
tence. I have known the -word and pursued through the 
whole gamut, have been entertained with many a melo- 
dious the, and have heard the most beautiful graces, quav- 
vers and divisions bestowed upon then, for, and from; to 
the eternal honor of our English particles. 

The next step to our refinement, was the introducing 
of Italian actors into our opera; who sung their parts 
in their own language, at the same time that our country- 
men performed theirs in our native tongue. The king 
or hero of the play generally spoke in Italian, and his 
slaves answered him in English : the lover frequently made 
his court, and gained the heart of his princess in a lan- 
guage which she did not understand. One would have 
thought it very difficult to have carried on dialogues 
after this manner, without an interpreter between the 
persons that conversed together; but this was the state of 
the English stage for about three years. 

At length the audience grew tired of understanding 
half the opera, and therefore to ease themselves entirely 


of the fatigue of thinking, have so ordered it at present 
that the whole opera is performed in an unknown tongue. 
We no longer understand the language of our own stage; 
insomuch that I have often been afraid, when I have seen 
our Italian performers chattering in the vehemence of ac- 
tion, that they have been calling us names, and abusing 
us among themselves; but I hope, since we do put such 
an entire confidence in them, they will not talk against us 
before our faces, though they may do it with the same 
safety as if it were behind our backs. In the meantime 
I cannot forbear thinking how naturally an historian, 
who writes two or three hundred years hence, and does 
not know the tastes of his wise forefathers, will make the 
following reflection. In the heginning of the eighteenth 
century, the Italian tongue was so well understood in 
England, that operas were acted on the public stage in 
that language. 

One scarce knows how to be serious in the confutation 
of an absurdity that shows itself at the first sight. It 
does not want any great measure of sense to see the ridi- 
cule of this monstrous practise; but what makes it the 
more astonishing, it is not the taste of the rabble, but of 
persons of the greatest politeness, which has established it. 

If the Italians have a genius for music above the Eng- 
lish, the English have a genius for other performances of 
a much higher nature, and capable of giving the mind a 
much nobler entertainment. Would one think it was pos- 
sible (at a time when an author lived that was able to 
write the Phosdra and Hippolitus) ^ for a people to be so 
stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as scarce to give a 
third day's hearing to that admirable tragedy? Music is 
certainly a very agreeable entertainment, but if it would 
take the entire possession of our ears, if it would make 
us incapable of hearing sense, if it would exclude arts that 
have a much greater tendency to the refinement of hu- 
man nature: I must confess I would allow it no better 

^ The tragedy of Phosdra and HippolitiiSy acted without success 
in 1707, was written by Edmund Smith. 


quarter than Plato has done, who banishes it out of his 

At present, our notions of music are so very uncertain, 
that we do not know what it is we like, only, in general, 
we are transported with anything that is not English: 
so if it be of a foreign growth, let it be Italian, French, 
or High-Dutch, it is the same thing. In short, our Eng- 
lish music is quite rooted out, and nothing yet planted 
in its stead. 

When a royal palace is burnt to the ground, every man 
is at liberty to present his plan for a new one ; and though 
it be but indifferently put together, it may furnish sev- 
eral hints that may be of use to a good architect. I shall 
take the same liberty in a following paper, of giving my 
opinion upon the subject of music, which I shall lay down 
only in a problematical manner to be considered by those 
who are masters in the art. C. 

[Spectator No. 26. Friday, March 20, 1711. 

Pallida mors sequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas 

Regumqueturres, beate Sexti. 
Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam. 

Jam te premet nox fabulseque manes, 
Et domus exilis Plutonia. — ^ 

—Hob. 1 Od. iv. 13. 

When I am in a serious humor, I very often walk by 
myself in Westminster Abbey; where the gloominess of 
the place, and the use to which it is applied, with the 
solemnity of the building, and the condition of the peo- 
ple who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of 

' With equal foot, rich friend, impartial fate 
Knocks at the cottage, and the palace gate : 
Life's span forbids thee to extend thy cares, 
And stretch thy hopes beyond thy years : 
Night soon will seize, and you must quickly go 
To story'd ghosts, and Pluto's house below. 


melanclioly, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not dis- 
agreeable. I yesterday passed a whole afternoon in the 
churchyard, the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself 
with the tombstones and inscriptions that I met with in 
those several regions of the dead. Most of them recorded 
nothing else of the buried person, but that he was born 
upon one day, and died upon another: the whole history 
of his life being comprehended in those two circum- 
stances that are common to all mankind. I could not but 
look upon these registers of existence, whether of brass 
or marble, as a kind of satire upon the departed persons; 
who left no other memorial of them, but that they were 
born, and that they died. They put me in mind of sev- 
eral persons mentioned in the battles of heroic poems, who 
have sounding names given them, for no other reason but 
that they may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing 
but being knocked on the head. 

** T\avK6p re "Mieddvra re Oepcn\ox^v r€." 


**Glaucumque, Medontaque, Thersilochumque." 


"Glaucus, and Medon, and Thersiloclius." 

The life of these men is finely described in holy writ 
by "the path of an arrow," which is immediately closed 
up and lost. 

Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself 
with the digging of a grave; and saw in every shovelful 
of it that was thrown up, the fragment of a bone or skull 
intermixed with a kind of fresh mouldering earth, that 
some time or other had a place in the composition of an 
human body. Upon this I began to consider with my- 
self, what innumerable multitudes of people lay confused 
together under the pavement of that ancient cathedral; 
how men and women, friends and enemies, priests and 
soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled amongst 
one another, and blended together in the same common 


mass; how beauty, strength, and youth, with old age, 
weakness, and deformity, lay undistinguished in the same 
promiscuous heap of matter. 

After having thus surveyed this great magazine of 
mortality, as it were in the lump, I examined it more 
particularly by the accounts which I found on several of 
the monuments which are raised in every quarter of that 
ancient fabric. Some of them were covered with such 
extravagant epitaphs, that if it were possible for the dead 
person to be acquainted with them, he would blush at 
the praises which his friends have bestowed on him. 
There are others so excessively modest, that they deliver 
the character of the person departed in Greek or Hebrew, 
and by that means are not understood once in a twelve- 
month. In the poetical quarter, I found there were poets 
who had no monuments, and monuments which had no 
poets. I observed, indeed, that the present war had fiUed 
the church with many of these uninhabited monuments, 
which had been erected to the memory of persons whose 
bodies were, perhaps, buried in the plains of Blenheim, 
or in the bosom of the ocean. 

I could not but be very much delighted with several 
modern epitaphs, which are written with great elegance 
of expression and justness of thought, and therefore do 
honor to the living as well as to the dead. As a for- 
eigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or 
politeness of a nation from the turn of their public monu- 
ments and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the 
perusal of men of learning and genius before they are 
put in execution. Sir Cloudesley Shovel's monument has 
very often given me great offense. Instead of the brave, 
rough, English admiral, which was the distinguishing 
character of that plain, gallant man, he is represented on 
his tomb by the figure of a beau, dressed in a long peri- 
wig, and reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a 
canopy of state. The inscription is answerable to the 
monument; for, instead of celebrating the many remark- 
able actions he had performed in the service of his coun- 


try, it acquaints us only with the manner of his death, in 
which it was impossible for him to reap any honor. The 
Dutch, whom we are apt to despise for want of genius^ 
show an infinitely greater taste of antiquity and polite- 
ness in their buildings and works of this nature, than 
what we meet with in those of our own country. The 
monuments of their admirals, which have been erected 
at the public expense, represent them like themselves, and 
are adorned with rostral crowns and naval ornaments^ 
with beautiful festoons of seaweed, shells, and coral. 

But to return to our subject. I have left the reposi- 
tory of our English kings for the contemplation of an- 
other day, when I shall find my mind disposed for so 
serious an amusement. I know that entertainments of 
this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal thoughts in 
timorous minds and gloomy imaginations; but for my 
own part, though I am always serious, I do not know 
what it is to be melancholy; and can therefore take a view 
of nature in her deep and solemn scenes, with the same 
pleasure as in her most gay and delightful ones. By 
this means I can improve myself with those objects, which 
others consider with terror. When I look upon the tombs 
of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I 
read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire 
goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a 
tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see 
the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity 
of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow. 
When I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when 
I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men 
that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I 
reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little compe- 
titions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read 
the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yester- 
day, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that 
great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and 
make our appearance together. C. 


[Spectator No. 30. Wednesday, April 4, 1711. Steele.] 

Si, Mimnermus uti censet, sine amore jocisque 
Nil est jucundum; vivas in amore jocisque.* 

—Hob. 1 Ep. vi. 65. 

One common calamity makes men extremely affect each 
other, though they differ in every other particular. The 
passion of love is the most general concern among men; 
and I am glad to hear by my last advices from Oxford, 
that there are a set of sighers in that university who have 
erected themselves into a society in honor of that tender 
passion. These gentlemen are of that sort of inamoratos 
who are not so very much lost to common sense but that 
they understand the folly they are guilty of; and for that 
reason separate themselves from all other company, be- 
cause they will enjoy the pleasure of talking incoherently, 
without being ridiculous to any but each other. When 
a man comes into the club, he is not obliged to make any 
introduction to his discourse, but at once, as he is seat- 
ing himself in his chair, speaks in the thread of his own 
thoughts, "She gave me a very obliging glance; she never 
looked so well in her life as this evening"; or the like 
reflection, without regard to any other member of the so- 
ciety; for in this assembly they do not meet to talk to 
each other, but every man claims the full liberty of talk- 
ing to himself. Instead of snuff-boxes and canes, which 
are usual helps to discourse with other young fellows, 
these have each some piece of riband, a broken fan, or 
an old girdle, which they play with while they talk of 
the fair person remembered by each respective token. Ac- 
cording to the representation of the matter from my let- 
ters, the company appear like so many players rehearsing 
behind the scenes: one is sighing and lamenting his des- 
tiny in beseeching terms; another declaring he will break 

* If nofhing, as Mimnermus strives to prove, 
Can e'er be pleasant without mirth and love, 
Then live in mirth and love, thy sports pursue. 


his chains; and another, in dumb-show, striving to ex- 
press his passion by his gesture. It is very ordinary in 
the assembly for one of a sudden to rise and make a dis- 
course concerning his passion in general, and describe 
the temper of his mind in such a manner, as that the 
whole company shall join in the description and feel the 
force of it. In this case, if any man has declared the 
violence of his flame in more pathetic terms, he is made 
president for that night, out of respect to his superior 

We had some years ago in this town a set of people 
who met and dressed like lovers, and were distinguished 
by the name of the Fringe-glove club; but they were per- 
sons of such moderate intellects, even beiore they were 
impaired by their passion, that their irregularities could 
not furnish sufficient variety of folly to afford daily new 
impertinences; by which means that institution dropped. 
These fellows could express their passion in nothing but 
their dress; but the Oxonians are fantastical now they 
are lovers, in proportion to their learning and understand- 
ing before they became such. The thoughts of the an- 
cient poets on this agreeable frenzy are translated in 
honor of some modern beauty; and Chloris is won to-day 
by the same compliment that was made to Lesbia a thou- 
sand years ago. But as far as I can learn, the patron of 
the club is the renowned Don Quixote. The adventures 
of that gentle knight are frequently mentioned in the so- 
ciety, under the color of laughing at the passion and them- 
selves; but at the same time, though they are sensible of 
the extravagances of that unhappy warrior, they do not 
observe, that to turn all the reading of the best and wisest 
writings into rhapsodies of love, is a frenzy no less di- 
verting than that of the aforesaid accomplished Spaniard. 
A gentleman who, I hope, will continue his correspond- 
ence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and sent me 
the following letter : 

"Since I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave to 


give you an account of one in Oxford, whicli you have 
nowhere mentioned, and perhaps never heard of. We 
distinguish ourselves by the title of the Amorous club, 
are all votaries of Cupid, and admirers of the fair sex. 
The reason that we are so little known in the world, is 
the secrecy which we are obliged to live under in the uni- 
versity. Our constitution runs counter to that of the 
place wherein we live: for in love there are no doctors; 
and we all profess so high a passion, that we admit of no 
graduates in it. Our presidentship is bestowed accord- 
ing to the dignity of passion; our number is unlimited; 
and our statutes are like those of the druids, recorded 
in our own breasts only, and explained by the majority 
of the company. A mistress, and a poem in her praise, 
will introduce any candidate. Without the latter no one 
can be admitted; for he that is not in love enough to 
rhyme is unqualified for our society. To speak disre- 
spectfully of any woman is expulsion from our gentle soci- 
ety. As we are at present all of us gownmen, instead 
of dueling when we are rivals, we drink together the 
health of our mistress. The manner of doing this some- 
times indeed creates debates; on such occasions we have 
recourse to the rules of love among the ancients. 

"Naevia sex Cyathis, septem Justina bibatur.'* 

— Maet. Epig. i. 72. 
'* Six cups to Naevia, to Justina seven." 

This method of a glass to every letter of her name, occa- 
sioned the other night a dispute of some warmth. A 
young student, who is in love with Mrs. Elizabeth Dimple, 
was so unreasonable as to begin her health under the 
name of Elizabetha; which so exasperated the club, that 
by common consent we retrenched it to Betty. We look 
upon a man as no company that does not sigh five times 
in a quarter of an hour ; and look upon a member as very 
absurd that is so much himself as to make a direct an- 
swer to a question. In fine, the whole assembly is made 
up of absent men, that is, of such persons as have lost 


their locality, and whose minds and bodies never keep 
company with one another. As I am an unfortunate 
member of this distracted society, you cannot expect a 
very regular account of it; for which reason I hope you 
will pardon me that I so abruptly subscribe myself, 
"Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

"T. B. 
"I forgot to tell you that Albina, who has six votaries 
in this club, is one of your readers/' 


[Spectator No. 34. Monday, April 9, 1711. Addison.] 


Cognatis maculis similis fera- 

— Juv. Sat. XV. 159. 

The club of which I am a member, is very luckily com- 
posed of such persons as are engaged in different ways of 
life, and deputed, as it were, out of the most conspicuous 
classes of mankind. By this means I am furnished with 
the greatest variety of hints and materials, and know 
everything that passes in the different quarters and divi- 
sions, not only of this great city, but of the whole king- 
dom. My readers too have the satisfaction to find that 
there is no rank or degree among them who have not their 
representative in this club, and that there is always some- 
body present who will take care of their respective in- 
terests, that nothing may be written or published to the 
prejudice or infringement of their just rights and priv- 

I last night sat very late in company with this select 
body of friends, who entertained me with several remarks 
which they and others had made upon these my specula- 
tions, as also with the various success which they had 
met with among their several ranks and degrees of read- 
ers. Will Honeycomb told me, in the softest manner he 

*rrom spotted skins the leopard does refrain. 


could, that there were some ladies (but for your com- 
fort, says Will, they are not those of the most wit) that 
were offended at the liberties I had taken with the opera 
and the puppet-show; that some of them likewise were 
very much surprised that I should think such serious 
points as the dress and equipage of persons of quality 
proper subjects for raillery. 

He was going on, when Sir Andrew Freeport took him 
up short, and told him that the papers he hinted at had 
done great good in the city, and that all their wives and 
daughters were the better for them; and farther added 
that the whole city thought themselves very much obliged 
to me for declaring my generous intentions to scourge 
vice and folly as they appear in a multitude, without 
condescending to be a publisher of particular intrigues 
and cuckoldoms. "In short," says Sir Andrew, "if you 
avoid that foolish beaten road of falling upon aldermen 
and citizens, and employ your pen upon the vanity and 
luxury of courts, your paper must needs be of general 

Upon this my friend the Templar told Sir Andrew that 
he wondered to hear a man of his sense talk after that 
manner; that the city had always been the province of 
satire; and that the wits of King Charles's time jested 
upon nothing else during his whole reign. He then 
showed, by the examples of Horace, Juvenal, Boileau, and 
the best writers of every age, that the follies of the stage 
and court had never been accounted too sacred for ridi- 
cule, how great soever the persons might be that patron- 
ized them. "But after all," says he, "I think your raillery 
has made too great an excursion in attacking several per- 
sons of the inns of court; and I do not believe you can 
show me any precedent for your behavior in that par- 

My good friend Sir Eoger de Coverley, who had said 
nothing all this while, began his speech with a pish! and 
told us that he wondered to see so many men of sense 
so very serious upon fooleries. "Let our good friend," 


says he, "attack every one that deserves it: I would only 
advise you, Mr. Spectator," applying himself to me, "to 
take care how you meddle with country squires. They 
are the ornaments of the English nation; men of good 
heads and sound bodies ! and, let me tell you, some of them 
take it ill of you that you mention fox-hunters with so 
little respect.'^ 

Captain Sentry spoke very sparingly on this occasion. 
What he said was only to commend my prudence in not 
touching upon the army, and advised me to continue to 
act discreetly in that point. 

By this time I found every subject of my speculations 
was taken away from me by one or other of the club ; and 
began to think myself in the condition of the good man 
that had one wife who took a dislike to his gray hairs, 
and another to his black, till, by their picking out what 
each of them had an aversion to, they left his head al- 
together bald and naked. 

While I was thus musing with myself, my worthy 
friend the Clergyman, who, very luckily for me, was at 
the club that night, undertook my cause. He told us, 
that he wondered any order of persons should think them- 
selves too considerable to be advised : that it was not qual- 
ity, but innocence, which exempted men from reproof: 
that vice and folly ought to be attacked wherever they 
could be met with, and especially when they were placed 
in high and conspicuous stations of life. He further 
added, that my paper would only serve to aggravate the 
pains of poverty, if it chiefly exposed those who are al- 
ready depressed, and in some measure turned into ridi- 
cule, by the meanness of their conditions and circum- 
stances. He afterwards proceeded to take notice of the 
great use this paper might be of to the public, by repre- 
hending those vices which are too trivial for the chas- 
tisement of the law, and too fantastical for the cogniz- 
ance of the pulpit. He then advised me to prosecute my 
undertaking with cheerfulness, and assured me, that, who- 
ever might be displeased with me, I should be approved by 


all those whose praises do honor to the persons on whom 
they are bestowed. 

The whole club pay a particular deference to the dis- 
course of this gentleman, and are drawn into what he 
says, as much by the candid ingenuous manner with which 
he delivers himself, as by the strength of argument and 
force of reason which he makes use of. Will Honeycomb 
immediately agreed, that what he had said was right; 
and that, for his part, he would not insist upon the quar- 
ter which he had demanded for the ladies. Sir Andrew 
gave up the city with the same frankness. The Templar 
would not stand out; and was followed by Sir Eoger and 
the Captain; who all agreed that I should be at liberty 
to carry the war into what quarter I pleased, provided I 
continued to combat with criminals in a body, and to as- 
sault the vice without hurting the person. 

This debate, which was held for the good of mankind, 
put me in mind of that which the Roman triumvirate 
were formerly engaged in for their destruction. Every 
man at first stood hard for his friend, till they found, 
that by this means they should spoil their proscription; 
and at length, making a sacrifice of all their acquaintances 
and relations, furnished out a very decent execution. 

Having thus taken my resolutions to march on boldly 
in the cause of virtue and good sense, and to annoy their 
adversaries in whatever degree or rank of men they may 
be found, I shall be deaf for the future to all the remon- 
strances that shall be made to me on this account. If 
Punch grows extravagant, I shall reprimand him very 
freely. If the stage becomes a nursery of folly and im- 
pertinence, I shall not be afraid to animadvert upon it. 
In short, if I meet with anytliing in city, court, or coun- 
try, that shocks modesty or good manners, I shall use 
my utmost endeavors to make an example of it. I must, 
however, entreat every particular person who does me 
the honor to be a reader of this paper, never to think 
himself, or any one of his friends or enemies, aimed at 
in what is said : for I promise him never to draw a faulty 


character which does not fit at least a thousand people; 
or to publish a single paper, that is not written in the 
spirit of benevolence and with a love to mankind. C. 

[Spectator No. 37. Thursday, April 12, 1711. 

^Non ilia colo calathisve Minerva 

Foemineas assueta manus — * 
^ — ViEG. -^n. vii. 805. 

jome months ago, my friend Sir Eoger, being in the 
country, inclosed a letter to me, directed to a certain lady 
whom I shall here call by the name of Leonora, and, as 
it contained matters of consequence, desired me to de- 
liver it to her with my own hand. Accordingly I waited 
upon her ladyship pretty early in the morning, and was 
desired by her woman to walk into her lady's library, till 
such time as she was in a readiness to receive me. The 
very sound of a lady's library gave me a great curiosity 
to see it; and as it was sometime before the lady came 
to me, I had an opportunity of turning over a great many 
of her books, which were ranged together in a very beau- 
tiful order. At the end of the folios (which were finely 
bound and gilt) were great jars of china placed one above 
another in a very noble piece of architecture. The quar- 
tos were separated from the octavos by a pile of smaller 
vessels, which rose in a delightful pyramid. The octavos 
were bounded by tea-dishes of all shapes, colors, and sizes, 
which were so disposed on a wooden frame, that they 
looked like one continued pillar indented with the finest 
strokes of sculpture, and stained with the greatest vari- 
ety of dyes. That part of the library which was designed 
for the reception of plays and pamphlets, and other loose 
papers, was enclosed in a kind of square, consisting of 
one of the prettiest grotesque works that ever I saw, and 
made up of scaramouches, lions, monkeys, mandarins, 

* Unbred to spinning, in the loom unskiU'd. 


trees, shells, and a thousand other odd figures in china 
ware. In the midst of the room was a little japan table, 
with a quire of gilt paper upon it, and on the paper a 
silver snuff-box made in the shape of a little book. I 
found there were several other counterfeit books upon the 
upper shelves, which were carved in wood, and served 
only to fill up the number, like fagots in the muster of 
a regiment. I was wonderfully pleased with such a mixed 
kind of furniture, as seemed very suitable both to the lady 
and the scholar, and did not know at first whether I 
should fancy myself in a grotto, or in a library. 

Upon my looking into the books, I found there were 
some few which the lady had bought for her own use, 
but that most of them had been got together, either be- 
cause she had heard them praised, or because she had seen 
the authors of them. Among several that I examined, 
I very well remember these that follows : — 

Ogleby's Virgil. 

Dryden's Juvenal. 

Cassandra. 1 [Romances from the French of Gautier 

Cleopatra, j de Costes.] 


Sir Isaac Newton's Works. 

The Grand Cyrus [by Madeleine de Scuderi] ; with a 

pin stuck in one of the middle leaves. 
Pembroke's Arcadia. 
Locke on Hiunan Understanding: with a paper of 

patches in it. 
A Spelling Book. 

A Dictionary for the explanation of hard words. 
Sherlock upon Death. 
The fifteen Comforts of Matrimony. 
Sir William Temple's Essays. 
Eather Malebranche's Search after Truth, translated 

into English. 
A book of Novels. 
The Academy of Compliments. 


Culpepper's Midwifery. 

The Ladies' Calling. 

Tales in Verse by Mr. Durfey; bound in red leather, 
gilt on the back, and doubled down in several places. 

All the Classic Authors in Wood. 

A set of Elzevirs by the same Hand. 

Clelia: which opened of itself in the place that de- 
scribes two lovers in a bower. 

Baker's Chronicle. 

Advice to a Daughter. 

The New Atalantis/ with a Key to it. 

Mr. Steele's Christian Hero. 

A prayer-book : with a bottle of Hungary- Water by the 
side of it. 

Dr. Sacheverell's Speech. 

Fielding's Trial. 

Seneca's Morals. 

Taylor's Holy Living and Dying. 

La Forte's 2 Instructions for Country Dances. 

I was taking a catalogue in my pocket-book of these, 
and several other authors, when Leonora entered, and 
upon my presenting her with a letter from the knight, 
told me, with an unspeakable grace, that she hoped Sir 
Koger was in good health: I answered Yes, for I hate 
long speeches, and after a bow or two, retired. 

Leonora was formerly a celebrated beauty, and is still 
a very lovely woman. She has been a widow for two or 
three years, and being unfortunate in her first marriage, 
has taken a resolution never to venture upon a second. 
She has no children to take care of, and leaves the man- 
agement of her estate to my good friend Sir Koger. But 
as the mind naturally sinks into a kind of lethargy, and 
falls asleep, that is not agitated by some favorite pleas- 
ures and pursuits, Leonora has turned all the passions of 

^A scandalous book which under feigned names especiaUy at- 
tacked members of Whig families. 

*A famous dancing master of this date. 


her sex into a love of books and retirement. She con-^ 
verses chiefly with men (as she has often said herself), 
but it is only in their writings; and admits of very few 
male visitants, except my friend Sir Roger, whom she 
hears with great pleasure, and without scandal. As her 
reading has lain very much among romances, it has given 
her a very particular turn of thinking, and discovers it- 
self even in her house, her gardens, and her furniture. 
Sir Roger has entertained me an hour together with a 
description of her country seat, which is situated in a 
kind of wilderness, about a hundred miles distant from 
London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The 
rocks about her are shaped into artificial grottos covered 
with woodbines and jessamines. The woods are cut into 
shady walks, twisted into bowers, and filled with cages of 
turtles. The springs are made to run among pebbles, and 
by that means taught to murmur very agreeably. They 
are likewise collected into a beautiful lake that is inhab- 
ited by a couple of swans, and empties itself by a little 
rivulet, which runs through a green meadow, and is 
known in the family by the name of the Purling Stream. 
The knight likewise tells me, that this lady preserves her 
game better than any of the gentlemen in the country, 
not (says Sir Roger) that she sets so great a value upon 
her partridges and pheasants, as upon her larks and 
nightingales. For she says that every bird that is killed 
in her ground, will spoil a consort, and she shall certainly 
miss him next year. 

When I think how oddly this lady is improved by 
learning, I look upon her with a mixture of admiration 
and pity. Amidst these innocent entertainments which 
she has formed to herself, how much more valuable does 
she appear than those of her sex, who employ themselves 
in diversions that are less reasonable, though more in 
fashion? What improvements would a woman have 
made, who is so susceptible of impressions from what she 
reads, had she been guided to such books as have a ten- 
dency to enlighten the understanding and rectify the 


passions, as well as to those which are of little more use 
than to divert the imagination? 

But the manner of a lady's employing herseK usefully 
in reading, shall be the subject of another paper, in which 
I design to recommend such particular books as may be 
proper for the improvement of the sex. And as this is 
a subject of a very nice nature, I shall desire my cor- 
respondents to give me their thoughts upon it. C. 

[Spectator No. 39. Saturday, April 14, 1711. Addison.] 

Multa ferOf ut placem genus irritable vatum, 
Cum scribo} — Hob. 

As a perfect tragedy is the noblest production of hu- 
man nature, so it is capable of giving the mind one of the 
most delightful and most improving entertainments. A 
virtuous man (says Seneca) struggling with misfortunes, 
is such a spectacle as gods might look upon with pleas- 
ure: and such a pleasure it is which one meets with in 
the representation of a well-written tragedy. Diversions 
of this kind wear out of our thoughts everything that 
is mean and little. They cherish and cultivate that hu- 
manity which is the ornament of our nature. They 
soften insolence, soothe affliction, and subdue the mind to 
the dispensations of Providence. 

It is no wonder therefore that in all the polite nations 
of the world, this part of the drama has met with public 

The modern tragedy excels that of Greece and Rome, 
in the intricacy and disposition of the fable; but, what 
a Christian writer would be ashamed to own, falls in- 
finitely short of it in the moral part of the performance. 

This I may show more at large hereafter; and in the 
meantime, that I may contribute something towards the 
improvement of the English tragedy, I shall take notice, 

1 "Much do I suffer, much, to keep in place 
This jealous, waspish, wrong-headed rhyming race." 

— POPB. 


in this and in other following papers, of some particular 
parts in it that seem liable to exception. 

Aristotle observes, that the iambic verse in the Greek 
tongue was the most proper for tragedy: because at the 
same time that it lifted up the discourse from prose, it 
was that which approached nearer to it than any other 
kind of verse. For, says he, we may observe that men 
in ordinary discourse very often speak iambics, without 
taking notice of it. We may make the same observa- 
tion of our English blank verse, which often enters 
into our common discourse, though we do not attend to 
it, and is such a due medium between rime and prose, 
that it seems wonderfully adapted to tragedy. I am 
therefore very much offended when I see a play in 
rhyme; which is as absurd in English, as a tragedy of 
hexameters would have been in Greek or Latin. The sole- 
cism is, I think, still greater, in those plays that have some 
scenes in rhyme and some in blank verse, which are to be 
looked upon as two several languages; or where we see 
some particular similes dignified with rhyme, at the same 
time that eTerything about them lies in blank verse. I 
would not however debar the poet from concluding his 
tragedy, or, if he pleases, every act of it, with two or 
three couplets, which may have the same effect as an air 
in the Italian opera after a long recitative, and give the 
actor a graceful exit. Besides that, we see a diversity 
of numbers in some parts of the old tragedy, in order 
to hinder the ear from being tired with the same con- 
tinued modulation of voice. For the same reason I do 
not dislike the speeches in our English tragedy that close 
with an hemistich, or half verse, notwithstanding the per- 
son who speaks after it begins a new verse, without filling 
up the preceding one; nor with abrupt pauses and break- 
ings-off in the middle of a verse, when they humor any 
passion that is expressed by it. 

Since I am upon this subject, I must observe that our 
English poets have succeeded much better in the style, 
than in the sentiments of their tragedies. Their Ian- 


gnage is very often noble and sonorous, but the sense 
either very trifling or very common. On the contrary, 
in the ancient tragedies, and indeed in those of Corneille 
and Racine, though the expressions are very great, it is 
the thought that bears them up and swells them. For my 
own part, I prefer a noble sentiment that is depressed 
with homely language, infinitely before a vulgar one that 
is blown up with all the sound and energy of expression. 
Whether this defect in our tragedies may rise from want 
of genius, knowledge, or experience in the writers, or 
from their compliance with the vicious taste of their 
readers, who are better judges of the language than of 
the sentiments, and consequently relish the one more than 
the other, I can not determine. But I believe it might 
rectify the conduct both of the one and of the other, if 
the writer laid down the whole contexture of his dialogue 
in plain English, before he turned it into blank verse; 
and if the reader, after the perusal of a scene, would con- 
sider the naked thought of every speech in it, when di- 
vested of all its tragic ornaments; by this means, without 
being imposed upon by words, we may judge impartially 
of the thought, and consider whether it be natural or 
great enough for the person that utters it, whether it de- 
serves to shine in such a blaze of eloquence, or show itself 
in such a variety of lights as are generally made use of 
by the writers of our English tragedy. 

I must in the next place observe, that when our 
thoughts are great and just, they are often obscured by 
the sounding phrases, hard metaphors, and forced expres- 
sions in which they are clothed. Shakespeare is often 
very faulty in this particular. There is a fine observa- 
tion in Aristotle to this purpose, which I have never seen 
quoted. The expression, says he, ought to be very much 
labored in the unactive parts of the fable, as in descrip- 
tions, similitudes, narrations, and the like; in which the 
opinions, manners, and passions of men are not repre- 
sented; for these (namely the opinions, manners and pas- 
sions) are apt to be obscured by pompous phrases and 


elaborate expressions. Horace, who copied most of his 
criticisms after Aristotle, seems to have had his eye on 
the foregoing rule, in the following verses: 

Et tragicus plerumque dolet sermone pedestri 
Telephus et Peleus, cum pauper et exsul uterque, 
Projicit ampullas et sesquipedelia verba, 
Si curat cor spectantis tetigisse querela. 

Tragedians, too, lay by their state, to grieve. 
Peleus and Telephus, exiled and poor. 
Forget their swelling and gigantic words. 

— Ld. Roscommon. 

Among our modem English poets, there is none who 
was better turned for tragedy than Lee; if instead of fa- 
voring the impetuosity of his genius, he had restrained it, 
and kept it within its proper bounds. His thoughts are 
wonderfully suited to tragedy, but frequently lost in such 
a cloud of words, that it is hard to see the beauty of them. 
There is an infinite fire in his works, but so involved in 
smoke, that it does not appear in half its luster. He 
frequently succeeds in the passionate parts of the tragedy, 
but more particularly where he slackens his efforts, and 
eases the style of those epithets and metaphors, in which 
he so much abounds. What can be more natural, more 
soft, or more passionate, than that line in Statira's speech, 
where she describes the charms of Alexander's conversa- 

Then he would talk ; Good Gods ! how he would talk ! 

That unexpected break in the line, and turning the 
description of his manner of talking into an admiration 
of it, is inexpressibly beautiful, and wonderfully suited 
to the fond character of the person that speaks it. There 
is a simplicity in the words, that outshines the utmost 
pride of expression. 

Otway has followed nature in the language of his 
tragedy, and therefore shines in the passionate parts, more 
than any of our English poets. As there is something 


familiar and domestic in the fable of his tragedy, more 
than in those of any other poet, he has little pomp, but 
great force in his expressions. For which reason, though 
he has admirably succeeded in the tender and melting part 
of his tragedies, he sometimes falls into too great a fa- 
miliarity of phrase in those parts, which, by Aristotle's 
rule, ought to have been raised and supported by the dig- 
nity of expression. 

It has been observed by others, that this poet has 
founded his tragedy of Venice Preserved on so wrong a 
plot, that the greatest characters in it are those of rebels 
and traitors. Had the hero of his play discovered the 
same good qualities in the defense of his country, that he 
showed for its ruin and subversion, the audience could 
not enough pity and admire him : but as he is now repre- 
sented, we can only say of him what the Roman historian 
says of Catiline, that his fall would have been glorious 
(si pro Patria sic concidisset) had he so fallen in the serv- 
ice of his country. 

[Spectator No. 42. Wednesday, April 18, 1711. 

Gurganum mugire putes nemtts aut mare Tusowm, 

Tanto cum strepitu ludi speotaniur, et artes, 

Diviticeque peregrince ; quihus ohlitus actor 

Cum stetit in scena, concurrit dextera laevce, 

Diant adhuc aliquidf Nil sane. Quid placet ergo? 

Lana Ta/rentvno, violas imitata veneno} — HoB. 

Aristotle has observed, that ordinary writers in trag- 
edy endeavor to raise terror and pity in their audience, 
not by proper sentiments and expressions, but by the 

^ "Loud as the wolves on Orca's stormy steep 
Howl to the roarings of the northern deep : 
Such is the shout, the loud applauding note, 
At Quin high plume, or Oldfield's petticoat ; 
Or when from court a birthday suit bestowed 
Sinks the lost actor in the tawdry load. 
Booth enters — ^hark ! the universal peal- 
But has he spoken? — not a syllable — 
What shook the stage and made the people stare? 
Cato's long wig, flowered gown and lacquered chair." 

— POPB. 


dresses and decorations of the stage. There is some- 
thing of this kind very ridiculous in the English theater. 
When the author has a mind to terrify us, it thunders; 
when he would make us melancholy, the stage is dark- 
ened. But among all our tragic artifices, I am the most 
offended at those which are made use of to inspire us 
with magnificent ideas of the persons that speak. The 
ordinary method of making an hero, is to clap a huge 
plume of feathers upon his head, which rises so very high, 
that there is often a greater length from his chin to the 
top of his head, than to the sole of his foot. One would 
believe that we thought a great man and a tall man the 
same thing. This very much embarrasses the actor, who 
is forced to hold his neck extremely stiff and steady all 
the while he speaks; and notwithstanding any anxieties 
which he pretends for his mistress, his country or his 
friends, one may see by his action, that his greatest care 
and concern is to keep the plume of feathers from falling 
off his head. For my own part, when I see a man utter- 
ing his complaints under such a mountain of feathers, I 
am apt to look upon him rather as an unfortunate luna- 
tic, than a distressed hero. As these superfluous orna- 
ments upon the head make a great man, a princess gen- 
erally receives her grandeur from those additional en- 
cumbrances that fall into her tail: I mean the broad 
sweeping train that follows her in all her motions, and 
finds constant employment for a boy who stands behind 
her to open and spread it to advantage. I do not know 
how others are affected at this sight, but, I must confess, 
my eyes are wholly taken up with the page's part; and 
as for the queen, I am not so attentive to anything she 
speaks, as ^o the right adjusting of her train, lest it 
should chance to trip up her heels, or incommode her, 
as she walks to and fro upon the stage. It is, in my opin- 
ion, a very odd spectacle, to see a queen venting her pas- 
sion in a disordered motion, and a little boy taking care 
all the while that they do not ruffle the tail of her gown. 
The parts that the two persons act on the stage at the 


same time, are very different : The princess is afraid lest 
she should incur the displeasure of the king her father, or 
lose the hero her lover, whilst her attendant is only con- 
cerned lest she should entangle her feet in her petticoat. 

We are told, that an ancient tragic poet, to move the 
pity of his audience for his exiled kings and distressed 
heroes, used to make the actors represent them in dresses 
and clothes that were threadbare and decayed. This arti- 
fice for moving pity, seems as ill contrived, as that we 
have been speaking of to inspire us with a great idea of 
the persons introduced upon the stage. In short, I would 
have our conceptions raised by the dignity of thought 
and sublimity of expression, rather than by a train of 
robes or a plume of feathers. 

Another mechanical method of making great men, and 
adding dignity to kings and queens, is to accompany them 
with halberts and battle-axes. Two or three shifters of 
scenes, with the two candle snuffers, make up a com- 
plete body of guards upon the English stage; and by the 
addition of a few porters dressed in red coats, can repre- 
sent above a dozen legions. I have sometimes seen a 
couple of armies drawn up together upon the stage, when 
the poet has been disposed to do honor to his generals. 
It is impossible for the reader's imagination to multiply 
twenty men into such prodigious multitudes, or to fancy 
that two or three hundred thousand soldiers are fighting 
in a room of forty or fifty yards in compass. Incidents 
of such nature should be told, not represented. 

Non tamen intus 
Digna geri promes in scenam; multaque tolles 
Ex oculis, quae mox narret facundia prsesens. — ^HoB» 

Yet there are things improper for a scene. 
Which men of judgment only will relate. 

— Ld. Roscommon. 

I should therefore, in this particular, recommend to 
my countrymen the example of the French stage, where 
the kings and queens always appear unattended, and 


leave their guards behind the scenes. I should likewise 
be glad if we imitated the French in banishing from our 
stage the noise of drums, trumpets, and huzzas; which is 
sometimes so very great, that when there is a battle in 
the Haymarket theater, one may hear it as far as Charing 

I have here only touched upon those particulars which 
are made use of to raise and aggrandize the persons of a 
tragedy; and shall show in another paper the several ex- 
pedients which are practised by authors of a vulgar 
genius, to move terror, pity, or admiration, in their hearers. 

The tailor and the painter often contribute to the suc- 
cess of a tragedy more than the poet. Scenes affect ordi- 
nary minds as much as speeches; and our actors are very 
sensible, that a well-dressed play has sometimes brought 
them as full audiences, as a well-written one. The Ital- 
ians have a very good phrase to express this art of im- 
posing upon the spectators by appearances: they call it 
the fourheria della scena, the knavery or trickish part of 
the drama. But however the show and outside of the 
tragedy may work upon the vulgar, the more understand- 
ing part of the audience immediately see through it, and 
despise it. 

A good poet will give the reader a more lively idea of 
an army or a battle in a description, than if he actually 
saw them drawn up in squadrons and battalions, or en- 
gaged in the confusion of a fight. Our minds should be 
opened to great conceptions, and inflamed with glorious 
sentiments, by what the actor speaks, more than by what 
he appears. Can all the trappings or equipage of a king 
or hero, give Brutus half that pomp and majesty which 
he receives from a few lines in Shakespeare? 

[Spectator No. 44. FRroAY, April 20, 1711. Addison.] 
Tu quid ego et popuUis mecum desideret cuudi} — HoR. 
Among the several artifices which are put in practise 

by the poets to fill the minds of an audience with terror, 

1 Now hear what every auditor expects. — Roscommon. 


the first place is due to thunder and lightning, which are 
often made use of at the descending of a god, or the ris- 
ing of a ghost, at the vanishing of a devil, or at the death 
of a tyrant. I have known a bell introduced into sev- 
eral tragedies with good effect; and have seen the whole 
assembly in a very great alarm all the while it has been 
ringing. But there is nothing which delights and ter- 
rifies our English theater so much as a ghost, especially 
when he appears in a bloody shirt. A specter has very 
often saved a play, though he has done nothing but stalked 
across the stage, or rose through a cleft of it, and sunk 
again without speaking one word. There may be a 
proper season for these several terrors; and when they 
only come in as aids and assistances to the poet, they 
are not only to be excused, but to be applauded. Thus 
the sounding of the clock in Venice Preserved^ makes the 
hearts of the whole audience quake; and conveys a 
stronger terror to the mind, than it is possible for words to 
do. The appearance of the ghost in Hamlet is a master- 
piece in its kind, and wrought up with all the circum- 
stances that can create either attention or horror. The 
mind of the reader is wonderfully prepared for his recep- 
tion by the discourses that precede it: his dumb behavior 
at his first entrance, strikes the imagination very strongly ; 
but every time he enters, he is still more terrifying. Who 
can read the speech with which young Hamlet accosts 
him, without trembling ? 

Eor. Look, my Lord, it comes! 

Hami. AngeJfs and ministers of grace defend us! 
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned; 
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from helU 
Be thy event wicked or charitable; 
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, 
That I will speak to thee. 1^11 call thee Hamlet, 
King, Father, Royal Dane: Oh! Oh! answer me, 
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell 
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, 
Have burst their cerements? Why the sepulchre. 


Wherein we saw thee quietly inurned. 
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws, 
To cast thee up again? What may this mean? 
That thou dead corse, again in complete steel 
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, 
Making night hideous? 

I do not therefore find fault with tlie artifices above 
mentioned, when they are introduced with skill, and ac- 
companied by proportionable sentiments and expressions 
in the writing. 

For the moving of pity, our principal machine is the 
handkerchief; and indeed, in our common tragedies, we 
should not know very often that the persons are in distress 
by any thing they say, if they did not from time to time 
apply their handkerchiefs to their eyes. Ear be it from 
me to think of banishing this instrument of sorrow from 
the stage; I know a tragedy could not subsist without it: 
all that I would contend for, is, to keep it from being mis- 
applied. In a word, I would have the actor's tongue 
sympathize with his eyes. 

A disconsolate mother, with a child in her hand, has 
frequently drawn compassion from the audience, and has 
therefore gained a place in several tragedies. A modem 
writer, that observed how this had took in other plays, 
being resolved to double the distress, and melt his audi- 
ence twice as much as those before him had done, brought 
a princess upon the stage with a little boy in one hand 
and a girl in the other. This too had a very good effect. 
A third poet being resolved to outwrite all his predeces- 
sors, a few years ago introduced three children, with great 
success: and, as I am informed, a young gentleman, who 
is fuUy determined to break the most obdurate hearts, ha8 
a tragedy by him, where the first person that appears upon 
the stage is an afflicted widow in her mourning weeds, 
with half a dozen fatherless children attending her, like 
those that usually hang about the figure of charity. Thus 
several incidents that are beautiful in a good writer. 


become ridiculous by falling into the hands of a bad one. 
But among all our methods of moving pity or terror, 
there is none so absurd and barbarous, and what more 
exposes us to the contempt and ridicule of our neighbors, 
than that dreadful butchering of one another, which is so 
very frequent upon the English stage. To delight in see- 
ing men stabbed, poisoned, racked, or impaled, is certainly 
the sign of a cruel temper : and as this is often practised 
before the British audience, several French critics, who 
think these are grateful spectacles to us, take occasion 
from them to represent us a people that delight in blood. 
It is indeed very odd, to see our stage strewed with car- 
cases in the last scene of a tragedy ; and to observe in the 
wardrobe of the playhouse several daggers, poniards, 
wheels, bowls for poison, and many other instruments of 
death. Murders and executions are always transacted be- 
hind the scenes in the French theater; which in general 
is very agreeable to the manners of a polite and civilized 
people: but as there are no exceptions to this rule on the 
French stage, it leads them into absurdities almost as 
ridiculous as that which falls under our present censure. 
I remember in the famous play of Corneille, written upon 
the subject of the Horatii and Curiatii, the fierce young 
hero who had overcome the Curiatii one after another (in- 
stead of being congratulated by his sister for his victory, 
being upbraided by her for having slain her lover) in the 
height of his passion and resentment kills her. If anything 
could extenuate so brutal an action, it would be the doing 
of it on a sudden, before the sentiments of nature, reason, 
or manhood could take place in him. However, to avoid 
public bloodshed, as soon as his passion is wrought to its 
height, he follows his sister the whole length of the stage, 
and forbears killing her till they are both withdrawn 
behind the scenes. I must confess, had he murdered her 
before the audience, the indecency might have been 
greater; but as it is, it appears very unnatural, and looks 
like killing in cold blood. To give my opinion upon this 


case, the fact ought not to have been represented, but to 
have been told, if there was any occasion for it. 

It may not be unacceptable to the reader, to see how 
Sophocles has conducted a tragedy under the like delicate 
circumstances. Orestes was in the same condition with 
Hamlet in Shakespeare, his mother having murdered his 
father, and taken possession of his kingdom in conspiracy 
with her adulterer. That young prince therefore, being 
determined to revenge his father's death upon those who 
filled his throne, conveys himself by a beautiful strategem 
into his mother's apartment, with a resolution to kill her. 
But because such a spectacle would have been too shock- 
ing to the audience, this dreadful resolution is executed 
behind the scenes : the mother is heard calling out to her 
son for mercy ; and the son answering her, that she showed 
no mercy to his father: after which she shrieks out that 
she is wounded, and by what follows we find that she is 
slain. I do not remember that in any of our plays there 
are speeches made behind the scenes, though there are 
other instances of this nature to be met with in those of 
the ancients : and I believe my reader will agree with me, 
that there is something infinitely more affecting in this 
dreadful dialogue between the mother and her son behind 
the scenes, than could have been in anything transacted 
before the audience. Orestes immediately after meets the 
usurper at the entrance of his palace ; and by a very happy 
thought of the poet avoids killing him before the audience, 
by telling him that he should live some time in his present 
bitterness of soul before he would dispatch him, and by 
ordering him to retire into that part of the palace where 
he had slain his father, whose murder he would revenge 
in the very same place where it was committed. By this 
means the poet observes that decency, which Horace after- 
wards established by a rule, of borbearing to commit parri- 
cides or unnatural murders before the audience. 

Nee coram populo notos Medea trucidet. 


Let not Medea draw her murthering knife, 
And spill her children's blood upon the stage. 

The French have therefore refined too much upon Horace's 
rule, who never designed to banish all kinds of death 
from the stage; but only such as had too much horror 
in them, and which would have a better effect upon the 
audience when transacted behind the scenes. I would 
therefore recommend to my countrymen the practice of 
the ancient poets, who were very sparing of their public 
executions, and rather chose to perform them behind the 
scenes, if it could be done with as great an effect upon 
the audience. At the same time I must observe, that 
though the devoted persons of the tragedy were seldom 
slain before the audience, which has generally something 
ridiculous in it, their bodies were often produced after 
their death, which has always in it something melancholy 
or terrifying; so that the killing on the stage does not 
seem to have been avoided only as an indecency, but also 
as an improbability. 

Nee pueros coram populo Medea trucidet; 
Aut humana palam coquat exta nefarius Atreus; 
Aut in avem Progne vertatur, Cadmus in anguen* 
Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi. 


Medea must not draw her murthering knife, 
Nor Atreus there his horrid feast prepare, 
Cadmus and Progne's metamorphosis, 
(She to a swallow turned, he to a snake ^ 
And whatsoever contradicts my sense, 
I hate to see, and never can believe. 


I have now gone through the several dramatic inven- 
tions which are made use of by the ignorant poets to 
supply the place of tragedy, and by the skilful to improve 
it; some of which I could wish entirely rejected, and the 
rest to be used with caution. It would be an endless task 
to consider comedy in the same light, and to mention the 


innumerable shifts that small wits put in practice to raise 
a laugh. Bullock in a short coat, and Norris in a long 
one, seldom fail of this effect. In ordinary comedies, a 
broad and a narrow brimmed hat are different char- 
acters. Sometimes the wit of the scene lies in a shoulder- 
belt, and sometimes in a pair of whiskers. A lover 
running about the stage, with his head peeping out of 
a barrel, was thought a very good jest in King Charles 
the Second^s time; and invented by one of the first wits 
of that age. But because ridicule is not so delicate as 
compassion, and because the objects that make us laugh 
are infinitely more numerous than those that make us 
weep, there is a much greater latitude for comic than 
tragic artifices, and by consequence a much greater in- 
dulgence to be allowed them. 

[Spectator No. 47. Tuesday, April 24, 1711. Addison.] 
Ride, si sapis — ^ — Mart. 

Mr. Hobbs, in his Discourse of Human Nature, which 
in my humble opinion is much the best of all his works, 
after some very curious observations upon laughter, con- 
cludes thus : "The passion of laughter is nothing else but 
sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some 
eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity 
of others, or with our own formerly: for men laugh at 
the follies of themselves past, when they come suddenly 
to remembrance, except they bring with them any present 

According to this author, therefore, when we hear a 
man laugh excessively, instead of saying he is very 
merry, we ought to tell him he is very proud. And, 
indeed, if we look into the bottom of this matter, we shall 
meet with many observations to confirm us in this opin- 
ion. Everyone laughs at somebody that is in an inferior 
state of folly to himself. It was formerly the custom for 

^ Laugh, if you're wise. 


every great house in England to keep a tame fool dressed 
in petticoats, that the heir of the family might have an 
opportunity of joking upon him, and diverting himself 
with his absurdities. Eor the same reason, idiots are still 
in request in most of the courts of Germany, where there 
is not a prince of any great magnificence, who has not 
two or three dressed, distinguished, undisputed fools in 
his retinue, whom the rest of the courtiers are always 
breaking their jests upon. 

The Dutch, who are more famous for their industry 
and application than for wit and humor, hang up in 
several of their streets what they call the sign of the 
Gaper, that is, the head of an idiot dressed in a cap and 
bells, and gaping in a most immoderate manner. This 
is a standing jest at Amsterdam. 

Thus everyone diverts himself with some person or 
other that is below him in point of understanding, and 
triumphs in the superiority of his genius, whilst he has 
such objects of derision before his eyes. Mr. Dennis has 
very well expressed this in a couple of humorous lines 
which are part of a translation of a satire in Monsieur 
Boileau : 

"Thus one fool lolls his tongue out at another, 
And shakes his empty noddle at his brother." 

Mr. Hobbs^s reflection gives us the reason why the 
insignificant people above mentioned are stirrers-up of 
laughter among men of a gross taste: but as the more 
understanding part of mankind do not find their risibility 
affected by such ordinary objects, it may be worth the 
while to examine into the several provocatives of laughter 
in men of superior sense and knowledge. 

In the first place I must observe, that there is a set 
of merry drolls, whom the common people of all countries 
admire, and seem to love so well, "that they could eat 
them,'' according to the old proverb: I mean those cir- 
cumforaneous wits whom every nation calls by the name 
of that dish of meat which it loves best : — in Holland they 


are termed Pickled Herrings; in France, Jeaij Pottages; 
in Italy, Maccaronies; and in Great Britain, Jack Pud- 
dings. These merry wags, from whatsoever food they 
receive their titles, that they may make their audiences 
laugh, always appear in a fool's coat, and commit such 
blunders and mistakes in every step they take, and every 
word they utter, as those who listen to them would be 
ashamed of. 

But this little triimiph of the understanding, under the 
disguise of laughter, is nowhere more visible than in that 
custom which prevails everywhere among us on the first 
day of the present month, when everybody takes it in his 
head to make as many fools as he can. In proportion as 
there are more follies discovered, so there is more laughter 
raised on this day than on any other day in the whole 
year. A neighbor of mine, who is a haberdasher by trade, 
and a very shallow, conceited fellow, makes his boast 
that for these ten years successively he has not made less 
than a hundred April fools. My landlady had a falling 
out with him about a fortnight ago, for sending every 
one of her children upon some sleeveless errand, as she 
terms it. Her eldest son went to buy a half-pennyworth 
of incle at a shoemaker's; the eldest daughter was de- 
spatched half-a-mile to see a monster; and, in short, the 
whole family of innocent children made April fools. Nay, 
my landlady herself did not escape him. This empty- 
fellow has laughed upon these conceits ever since. 

This art of wit is well enough, when confined to one 
day in a twelvemonth; but there is an ingenious tribe of 
men sprung up of late years, who are for making April 
fools every day in the year. These gentlemen are com- 
monly distinguished by the name of Biters : a race of men 
that are perpetually employed in laughing at those mis- 
takes which are of their own production. 

Thus we see, in proportion as one man is more refined 
than another, he chooses his fool out of a lower or higher 
class of mankind, or, to speak in a more philosophical 
language, that secret elation and pride of heart, which is 


generally called laughter, arises in him, from his com- 
paring himself with an object below him, whether it so 
happens that it be a natural or an artificial fool. It is; 
indeed, very possible, that the persons we laugh at may 
in the main of their characters be much wiser men than 
ourselves; but if they would have us laugh at them, they 
must fall short of us in those respects which stir up this 

I am afraid I shall appear too abstracted in my specu- 
lations, if I show that when a man of wit makes us 
laugh, it is by betraying some oddness or infirmity in his 
own character, or in the representation which he makes 
of others; and that when we laugh at a brute, or even at 
an inanimate thing, it is at some action or incident that 
bears a remote analogy to any blunder or absurdity in 
reasonable creatures. 

But to come into common life: I shall pass by the 
consideration of those stage coxcombs that are able to 
shake a whple audience, and take notice of a particular 
sort of men who are such provokers of mirth in conver- 
sation, that it is impossible for a club or merry meeting 
to subsist without them; I mean, those honest gentlemen 
that are always exposed to the wit and raillery of their 
well-wishers and companions; that are pelted by men, 
women, and children, friends and foes, and in a word, 
stand as butts in conversation, for every one to shoot at 
that pleases. I know several of these butts who are men 
of wit and sense, though by some odd turn of humor, some 
unlucky cast in their person or behavior, they have always 
the misfortune to make the company merry. The truth 
of it is, a man is not qualified for a butt, who has not 
a good deal of wit and vivacity, even in the ridiculous 
side of his character. A stupid butt is only fit for the 
conversation of ordinary people: men of wit require one 
that will give them play, and bestir himself in the absurd 
part of his behavior. A butt with these accomplishments 
frequently gets the laugh on his side, and turns the ridi- 
cule upon him that attacks him. Sir John Falstaff was 


a hero of this species, and gives a good description of 
himself in his capacity of a butt, after the following 
manner: — "Men of all sorts," says that merry knight, 
"take a pride to gird at me. The brain of man is not 
able to invent anything that tends to laughter more than 
I invent, or is invented on me. I am not only witty in 
myseK, but the cause that wit is in other men/^ C. 

[Spectator No. 49. Thursday, April 26, 1711. Steele.] 

Hominem pagina nostra sapit.* 

— Mart, 

It is very natural for a man who is not turned for 
mirthful meetings of men, or assemblies of the fair sex, 
to delight in that sort of conversation which we find in 
coffee-houses. Here a man of my temper is in his ele- 
ment; for, if he cannot talk, he can still be more agree- 
able to his company, as well as pleased in himself, in 
being only a hearer. It is a secret known but to few, 
yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you 
fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should 
consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear 
you, or that you should hear him. The latter is the 
more general desire, and I know very able flatterers that 
never speak a word in praise of the persons from whom 
they obtain daily favors, but still practise a skilful atten- 
tion to whatever is uttered by those with whom they con- 
verse. We are very curious to observe the behavior of 
great men and their clients; but the same passions and 
interests move men in lower spheres; and I (that have 
nothing else to do but make observations) see in every 
parish, street, lane, and alley of this populous city, a little 
potentate that has his court and his flatterers, who lay 
snares for his affection and favor, by the same arts that 
are practised upon men in higher stations. 

^ Men and their manners I describe. 


In the place I most usually frequent, men differ rather 
in the time of day in which they make a figure, than in 
any real greatness above one another. I, who am at the 
coffee-house at six in the morning, know that my friend 
Beaver, the haberdasher, has a levee of more undissembled 
friends and admirers than most of the courtiers or gen- 
erals of Great Britain. Every man about him has, per- 
haps, a newspaper in his hand; but none can pretend 
to guess what step will be taken in any one court of 
Europe till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his pipe, and 
declares what measures the allies must enter into upon 
this new posture of affairs. Our coffee-house is near one 
of the inns of court, and Beaver has the audience and 
admiration of his neighbors from six till within a quarter 
of eight, at which time he is interrupted by the students 
of the house; some of whom are ready dressed for West- 
minster at eight in the morning, with faces as busy as if 
they were retained in every cause there; and others come 
in their night-gowns to saunter away their time as if 
they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I 
meet in any of my walks, objects which move both my 
spleen and laughter so effectually as those young fellows 
at the Grecian, Squire's, Searle's,^ and all other coffee- 
houses adjacent to the law, who rise early for no other 
purpose but to publish their laziness. One would think 
that these young virtuosos take a gay cap and slippers, 
with a scarf and party-colored gown, to be ensigns of 
dignity; for the vain things approach each other with an 
air which shows they regard one another for their vest- 
ments. I have observed that the superiority among these 
proceeds from an opinion of gallantry and fashion. The 
gentleman in the strawberry sash, who presides so much 
over the rest, has, it seems, subscribed to every opera this 
last winter, and is supposed to receive favors from one 
of the actresses. 

When the day grows too busy for these gentlemen to 

* The Grecian was by the Temple ; Squire's by Gray's Inn ; and 
Searle's by Lincoln's Inn. 


enjoy any longer the pleasures of their deshabille, with 
any manner of confidence, they give place to men who 
have business or good sense in their faces, and come to 
the cojSFee-house either to transact affairs, or enjoy con- 
versation. The persons to whose behavior and discourse 
I have most regard, are such as are between these two 
sorts of men; such as have not spirits too active to be 
happy, and well pleased in a private condition; nor 
complexions too warm to make them neglect the duties 
and relations of life. Of these sort of men consist the 
worthier part of mankind; of these are all good fathers, 
generous brothers, sincere friends, and faithful subjects. 
Their entertainments are derived rather from reason than 
imagination; which is the cause that there is no impa- 
tience or instability in their speech or action. You see 
in their countenances they are at home, and in quiet 
possession of the present instant as it passes, without 
desiring to quicken it by gratifying any passion, or 
prosecuting any new design. These are the men formed 
for society, and those little communities which we ex- 
press by the word neighborhoods. 

The coffee-house is the place of rendezvous to all that 
live near it, who are thus turned to relish calm and 
ordinary life. Eubulus presides over the middle hours 
of the day, when this assembly of men meet together. 
He enjoys a great fortune handsomely, without launching 
into expense; and exerts many noble and useful qualities, 
without appearing in any public employment. His wis- 
dom and knowledge are serviceable to all that think fit to 
make use of them; and he does the office of a counsel, a 
judge, an executor, and a friend to all his acquaintance, 
not only without the profits which attend such offices, but 
also without the deference and homage which are usually 
paid to them. The giving of thanks is displeasing to 
him. The greatest gratitude you can show him, is to 
let him see you are the better man for his services; and 
that you are as ready to oblige others, as he is to oblige 


In the private exigencies of his friends he lends, at legal 
value, considerable sums, which he might highly increase 
by rolling in the public stocks. He does not consider in 
whose hands his money will improve most, but where it 
will do most good. 

Eubulus has so great an authority in his little diurnal 
audience, that when he shakes his head at any piece of 
public news, they all of them appear dejected; and, on 
the contrary, go home to their dinners with a good 
stomach and cheerful aspect when Eubulus seems to inti- 
mate that things go well. Nay, their veneration towards 
him is so great, that when they are in other company they 
speak and act after him ; are wise in his sentences, and are 
no sooner sat down at their own tables, but they hope or 
fear, rejoice or despond, as they saw him do at the coffee- 
house. In a word, every man is Eubulus as soon as his 
back is turned. 

Having here given an account of the several reigns that 
succeed each other from daybreak till dinner-time, I shall 
mention the monarchs of the afternoon on another occa- 
sion, and shut up the whole series of them with the his- 
tory of Tom the Tyrant; who, as first minister of the 
coffee-house, takes the government upon him between the 
hours of eleven and twelve at night, and gives his orders 
in the most arbitrary manner to the servants below him, 
as to the disposition of liquors, coal, and cinders. K. 

[Spectator No. 59. Tuesday, May 8, 1711. Addison.] 

Operose nihil agunt.* — Sen. 

There is nothing more certain than that every man 
would be a wit if he could, and notwithstanding pedants of 
pretended depth and solidity are apt to decry the writings 
of a polite author, as flash and froth, they all of them 
show upon occasion that they would spare no pains to 
arrive at the character of those whom they seem to 

* Busy about nothing. 


despise. For this reason we often find them endeavoring 
at works of fancy, which cost them infinite pangs in the 
production. The truth of it is, a man had better be a 
galley-slave than a wit, were one to gain that title by 
those elaborate trifles which have been the inventions of 
such authors as were often masters of great learning, 
but no genius. 

In my last paper I mentioned some of those false wits 
among the ancients, and in this shall give the reader 
two or three other species of them that flourished in the 
same early ages of the world. The first I shall produce 
are the Lipogrammatists or letter-droppers of antiquity, 
that would take an exception, without any reason, against 
some particular letter in the alphabet, so as not to admit 
it once into a whole poem. One Tryphiodorus was a great 
master in this kind of writing. He composed an Odyssey 
or epic poem on the adventures of Ulysses, consisting of 
four and twenty books, having entirely banished the letter 
A from his first book, which was called Alpha (as lucus a 
non lucendo) because there was not an Alpha in it. His 
second book was inscribed Beta, for the same reason. In 
short, the poet excluded the whole four and twenty letters 
in their turns, and showed them, one after another, that 
he could do his business without them. 

It must have been very pleasant to have seen this poet 
avoiding the reprobate letter, as much as another would 
a false quantity, and making his escape from it through 
the several Greek dialects, when he was pressed with it 
in any particular syllable. For the most apt and elegant 
word in the whole language was rejected, like a diamond 
with a flaw in it, if it appeared blemished with a wrong 
letter. I shall only observe upon this head, that if the 
work I have here mentioned had been now extant, the 
Odyssey of Tryphiodorus, in all probability, would have 
been oftener quoted by our learned pedants, than the 
Odyssey of Homer. What a perpetual fund would it have 
been of obsolete words and phrases, unusual barbarisms 


and rusticities, absurd spellings and complicated dialects? 
I make no question but it would have been looked upon 
as one of the most valuable treasuries of the Greek tongue. 
I find likewise among the ancients that ingenious kind 
of conceit, which the moderns distinguish by the name 
of rebus, that does not sink a letter but a whole word, 
by substituting a picture in its place. When Caesar was 
one of the masters of the Roman mint, he placed the 
figure of an elephant upon the reverse of the public 
money; the word Caesar signifying an elephant in the 
Punic language. This was artificially contrived by 
Caesar, because it was not lawful for a private man to 
stamp his own figure upon the coin of the commonwealth, 
Cicero, who was so called from the founder of his family, 
that was marked on the nose with a little wen like a 
vetch (which is cicer in Latin) instead of Marcus TuUius 
Cicero, ordered the words Marcus TuUius with the figure 
of a vetch at the end of them to be inscribed on a public 
monument. This was done probably to show that he was 
neither ashamed of his name or family, notwithstanding 
the envy of his competitors had often reproached him 
with both. In the same manner we read of a famous 
building that was marked in several parts of it with 
the figures of a frog and a lizard; those words in Greek 
having been the names of the architects, who by the laws 
of their country were never permitted to inscribe their 
own names upon their works. For the same reason it is 
thought, that the forelock of the horse in the antique 
equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, represents at a 
distance the shape of an owl, to intimate the country of 
the statuary, who, in all probability was an Athenian. 
This kind of wit was very much in vogue among our 
own countrymen about an age or two ago, who did not 
practise it for any oblique reason, as the ancients above 
mentioned, but purely for the sake of being witty. 
Among innumerable instances that may be given of this 
nature, I shall produce the device of one Mr. Newberry, 


as I find it mentioned by our learned Camden in his 
Remains. Mr. Newberry, to represent his name by a pic- 
ture, hung up at his door the sign of a yew tree, that had 
several berries upon it, and in the midst of them a 
great golden N hung upon a bough of the tree, which by 
the help of a little false spelling made up the word 

I shall conclude this topic with a rebus, which has 
been lately hewn out in free-stone, and erected over two 
of the portals of Blenheim house, being the figure of a 
monstrous lion tearing to pieces a little cock. For the 
better understanding of which device, I must acquaint my 
English reader that a cock has the misfortune to be called 
in Latin by the same word that signifies a Frenchman, as 
a lion is the emblem of the English nation. Such a 
device in so noble a pile of building looks like a pun in 
an heroic poem ; and I am very sorry the truly ingenious 
architect would suffer the statuary to blemish his excel- 
lent plan with so poor a conceit : but I hox)e what I have 
said will gain quarter for the cock, and deliver him out 
of the lion's paw. 

I find likewise in ancient times the conceit of making 
an echo talk sensibly, and give rational answers. If this 
could be excusable in any writer, it would be in Ovid, 
where he introduces the echo as a nymph, before she was 
worn away into nothing but a voice. The learned Eras- 
mus, though a man of wit and genius, has composed a 
dialogue upon this silly kind of device, and made use of 
an echo who seems to have been a very extraordinary 
linguist, for she answers the person she talks with in 
Latin, Greek and Hebrew, according as she found the 
syllables which she was to repeat in any of those learned 
languages. Hudihras, in ridicule of this false kind of 
wit, has described Bruin bewailing the loss of his bear 
to a solitary echo, who is of great use to the poet in 
several distichs, as she does not only repeat after him, 
but helps out his verse, and furnishes him with rimes. 


He raged, and kept as heavy a coil as 

Stout Hercules for loss of Hylas; 

Forcing the valleys to repeat 

The accents of his sad regret; 

He beat his breast, and tore his hair, 

For loss of his dear crony bear. 

That Echo from the hollow ground 

His doleful wailings did resound 

More wistfully, by many times, 

Than in small poets splay-foot rimes. 

That make her, in their rueful stories, 

To answer to int'rogatories. 

And most unconscionably depose 

Things of which she nothing knows: 

And when she has said all she can say, 

'Tis wrested to the lover's fancy. 

Quoth he, whether, wicked Bruin, 

Art thou fled to my — Echo, Ruin? 

I thought th' hadst scorned to budge a step 

For fear; (quoth Echo) Marry guep. 

Am not I here to take thy part! 

Then what has quelled thy stubborn heart? 

Have these bones rattled, and this head 

So often in thy quarrel bled? 

Kor did I ever winch or grudge it, 

For thy dear sake, (quoth she) Mum budget. 

Think'st thou 'twill not be laid i' th' dish— 

Thou turnd'st thy back? Quoth Echo, Pish. 

To run from those th' hadst overcome 

Thus cowardly? Quoth Echo, Mum. 

But what a-vengeance makes thee fly 

From me too, as thine enemy? 

Or if thou hadst no thought of me, 

Nor what I have endured for thee. 

Yet shame and honor might prevail 

To keep thee thus from turning tail: 

For who would grudge to spend his blood in 

His honor's cause? Quoth she, A pudding. 


[Spectator No. 60. Wednesday, May 9, 1711. Addison.] 

Hoc est quod pallesf Cur quis non prandeat, hos estf^ 

— ^Pers. Sat. iii. 

Several kinds of false wit that vanished in the refined 
ages of the world, discovered themselves again in the 
times of monkish ignorance. 

As the monks were the masters of all that little learn- 
ing which was then extant, and had their whole lives 
entirely disengaged from business, it is no wonder that 
several of them, who wanted genius for higher perform- 
ances, employed many hours in the composition of such 
tricks in writing as required much time and little capacity. 
I have seen half the JEneid turned into Latin rimes by 
one of the heaux esprits of that dark age; who says, in 
his preface to it, that the u3Eneid wanted nothing but the 
sweets of rime to make it the most perfect work in its 
kind. I have likewise seen an hymn in hexameters to 
the Virgin Mary, which filled a whole book, though it 
consisted but of the eight following words; 

Tot, tibi, sunt, Virgo, dotes, quot, sidera, caelo. 

Thou hast as many virtues, Virgin, as there are stars in 

The poet rung the changes upon these eight several words, 
and by that means made his verses almost as numerous 
as the virtues and the stars which they celebrated. It is 
no wonder that men who had so much time upon their 
hands, did not only restore all the antiquated pieces of 
false wit, but enriched the world with inventions of their 
own. It was to this age that we owe the production of 
anagrams, which is nothing else but a transmutation of 
one word into another, or the turning of the same set 
of letters into different words; which may change night 
into day, or black into white, if Chance, who is the goddess 

^ Is it for this you gain those meagre looks, 
And sacrifice your dinner to your books? 


that presides over these sorts of composition, shall so 
direct. I remember a witty author, in allusion to this 
kind of writing, calls his rival, who (it seems) was dis- 
torted, and had his limbs set in places that did not 
properly belong to them, "The anagram of a man." 

When the anagrammatist takes a name to work upon, 
he considers it at first as a mine not broken up, which 
will not show the treasure it contains till he shall have 
spent many hours in the search of it : for it is his business 
to find out one word that conceals itself in another, and 
to examine the letters in all the variety of stations in 
which they can possibly be arranged. I have heard of a 
gentleman who, when this kind of wit was in fashion, 
endeavored to gain his mistress's heart by it. She was 
one of the finest women of her age, and known by the 
name of the Lady Mary Boon. The lover not being able 
to make any thing of Mary, but certain liberties indulged 
to this kind of writing converted it into Moll; and after 
having shut himself up for haK a year, with indefatigable 
industry produced an anagram. Upon the presenting it 
to his mistress, who was a little vexed in her heart to see 
herself degraded into Moll Boon, she told him, to his 
infinite surprise, that he had mistaken her surname, for 
that it was not Boon, but Bohun. 

Ibi omnis 

Effusus labor. 

The lover was thunderstruck with his misfortune, inso- 
much that in a little time after he lost his senses, which 
indeed had been very much impaired by that continual 
application he had given to his anagram. 

The acrostic was probably invented about the same time 
with the anagram, though it is impossible to decide 
whether the inventor of the one or the other were the 
greater blockhead. The simple acrostic is nothing but the 
name or title of a person or thing made out of the 
initial letters of several verses, and by that means written, 
after the manner of the Chinese, in a perpendicular line. 


But besides these there are compound acrostics, when the 
principal letters stand two or three deep. I have seen 
some of them where the verses have not only been edged 
by a name at each extremity, but have had the same 
name running down like a seam through the middle of 
the poem. 

There is another near relation of the anagrams and 
acrostics, which is commonly called a chronogram. This 
kind of wit appears very often on many modern medals, 
especially those of Germany, when they represent in the 
inscription the year in which they were coined. Thus 
we see on a medal of Gustavus Adolphus the following 
words, ChrIstVs DuX ergo trIVMphVs. If you take 
the pains to pick the figures out of the several words, and 
range them in their proper order, you will find they 
amount to MDCXVVYII, or 1627, the year in which the 
medal was stamped : for as some of the letters distinguish 
themselves from the rest, and overtop their fellows, they 
are to be considered in a double capacity, both as letters 
and as figures. Your laborious German wits will turn 
over a whole dictionary for one of these ingenious devices. 
A man would think they were searching after an apt 
classical term; but instead of that, they are looking out a 
word that has an L, an M, or a D in it. When therefore 
we meet with any of these inscriptions, we are not so 
much to look in them for the thought, as for the year 
of the Lord. 

The Bouts Rimez were the favorites of the French na- 
tion for a whole age together, and that at a time when 
it abounded in wit and learning. They were a list of 
words that rime to one another, drawn up by another 
hand, and given to a poet, who was to make a poem to 
the rimes in the same order that they were placed upon 
the list: the more uncommon the rimes were, the more 
extraordinary was the genius of the poet that could 
accommodate his verses to them. I do not know any 
greater instance of the decay of wit and learning among 
the French (which generally follows the declension of 


empire) than the endeavoring to restore this foolish kind 
of wit. If the reader will be at the trouble to see ex- 
amples of it, let him look into the new Mecure Galant; 
where the author every month gives a list of rimes to be 
filled up by the ingenious, in order to be communicated 
to the public in the Mercure for the succeeding month. 
That for the month of November last, which now lies 
before me, is as follows. 

— — — — — — — — — Lauriers 

— — — — — — — — — Guerriers 

— — — — — — — — — Musette 

— — — — — — — — — Lisette 

— — — — — — — — — Cesars 

— — — — — — — — — Etendars 

— — — — — — — — — Houlette 

— — — — — — — — — Folette 

One would be amazed to see so learned a man as Menage 
talking seriously on this kind of trifle in the following 

"Monsieur de la Chambre has told me, that he never 
knew what he was going to write when he took his pen 
into his hand; but that one sentence always produced 
another. For my own part, I never knew what I should 
write next when I was making verses. In the first place 
I got all my rimes together, and was afterwards perhaps 
three or four months in filling them up. I one day showed 
Monsieur Gambaud a composition of this nature, in which 
among others I had made use of the four following rimes, 
Amaryllis, Phillis, Marne, Arne, desiring him to give me 
his opinion of it. He told me immediately, that my verses 
were good for nothing. And upon my asking his reason, 
he said, because the rimes are too common; and for that 
reason easy to be put into verse. Marry, says I, if it 
be so, I am very well rewarded for all the pains I have 
been at. But by Monsieur Gambaud's leave, notwith- 
standing the severity of the criticism, the verses were 


good/' Vid, Menagiana. Thus far the learned Menage, 
whom I have translated word for word. 

The first occasion of these Bouts Rimez made them in 
some manner excusable, as they were tasks which the 
French ladies used to impose on their lovers. But when 
a grave author, like him above mentioned, tasked him- 
self, could there be anything more ridiculous? Or would 
not one be apt to believe that the author played booty, and 
did not make his list of rimes till he had finished his 

I shall only add, that this piece of false wit has been 
finely ridiculed by Monsieur Sarasin, in a poem entitled 
La defaite des Bouts-Rimez, The Eout of the Bouts- 

I must subjoin to this last kind of wit the double 
rimes, which are used in doggerel poetry, and generally 
applauded by ignorant readers. If the thought of the 
couplet in such compositions is good, the rime adds 
little to it; and if bad, it will not be in the power of the 
rime to recommend it. I am afraid that great numbers 
of those who admire the incomparable Hudibras, do it 
more on account of these doggerel rimes than of the 
parts that really deserve admiration. I am sure I have 
heard the 

Pulpit, drum ecclesiastic, 

Was beat with fist instead of a stick. 


There was an ancient sage philosopher 
Who had read Alexander Ross over. 

more frequently quoted, than the finest pieces of wit in 
the whole poem. 


[Specta'"or No. 61. Thursday, May 10, 1711. Addison.] 

Non equidem studeo, bullatis ut mihi nugis 
lagina turgescat, dare pondus idonea fumo.^ 

Pers. Sat. V. 19. 

There is no kind of false wit which has been so recom- 
mended by the practise of all ages as that which consists 
in a jingle of words, and is comprehended under the gen- 
eral name of punning. It is indeed impossible to kill a 
weed, which the soil has a natural disposition to produce. 
The seeds of punning are in the minds of all men; and 
though they may be subdued by reason, reflection, and 
good sense, they will be very apt to shoot up in the great- 
est genius that is not broken and cultivated by the rules 
of art. Imitation is natural to us, and when it does 
not raise the mind to poetry, painting, music, or other 
more noble arts, it often breaks out in puns and quibbles. 

Aristotle, in the eleventh chapter of his book of rhetoric, 
describes two or three kinds of puns, which he calls para- 
grams, among the beauties of good writing, and produces 
instances of them out of some of the greatest authors in 
the Greek tongue. Cicero has sprinkled several of his 
works with puns, and, in his book where he lays down the 
rules of oratory, quotes abundance of sayings as pieces of 
wit, which also upon examination prove arrant puns. 
But the age in which the pun chiefly flourished was in the 
reign of king James the First. That learned monarch 
was himself a tolerable punster, and made very few bishops 
or privy-counselors that had not some time or other sig- 
nalized themselves by a clinch, or a conundrum. It was 
therefore in this age that the pun appeared with pomp 
and dignity. It had been before admitted into merry 
speeches and ludicrous compositions, but was now de- 

I'Tis not indeed my talent to engage 
In lofty trifles, or to swell my page 
With wind and noise. 


livered with great gravity from the pulpit, or pronounced 
in the most solemn manner at the council-table. The 
greatest authors, in their most serious works, made fre- 
quent use of puns. The sermons of Bishop Andrews, and 
the tragedies of Shakespeare, are full of them. The sin- 
ner was punned into repentance by the former, as in the 
latter nothing is more usual than to see a hero weeping 
and quibbling for a dozen lines together. 

I must add to these great authorities, which seem to 
have given a kind of sanction to this piece of false wit, 
that all the writers of rhetoric have treated of punning 
with very great respect, and divided the several kinds 
of it into hard names, that are reckoned among the figures 
of speech, and recommended as ornaments in discourse. I 
remember a country schoolmaster of my acquaintance 
told me once that he had been in company with a gentle- 
man whom he looked upon to be the greatest paragram- 
matist among the modems. Upon inquiry, I found my 
learned friend had dined with Mr. Swan, the famous 
punster; and desiring him to give me some account of 
Mr. Swan's conversation, he told me that he generally 
talked in the Paranomasia, that he sometimes gave into 
the Ploce, but that in his humble opinion he shined most 
in the Antanaclasis. 

I must not here omit, that a famous university of this 
land was formerly very much infested with puns; but 
whether or no this might not arise from the fens and 
marshes in which it was situated, and which are now 
drained, I must leave to the determination of more 
skilful naturalists. 

After this short history of punning, one would wonder 
how it should be so entirely banished out of the learned 
world as it is at present, especially since it had found a 
place in the writings of the most ancient polite authors. 
To account for this we must consider, that the first race 
of authors who were the great heroes in writing, were 
destitute of all rules and arts of criticism; and for that 
reason, though they excel later writers in greatness of 


genius, they fall short of them in accuracy and correct- 
ness. The modems cannot reach their beauties, but can 
avoid their imperfections. When the world was furnished 
with these authors of the first eminence, there grew up 
another set of writers, who gained themselves a reputa- 
tion by the remarks which they made on the works of 
those who preceded them. It was one of the employments 
of these secondary authors to distinguish the several kinds 
of wit by terms of art, and to consider them as more or 
less perfect, according as they were founded in truth. It 
is no wonder, therefore, that even such authors as Iso- 
crates, Plato, and Cicero should have such little blemishes 
as are not to be met with in authors of a much inferior 
character, who have written since those several blemishes 
were discovered. I do not find that there was a proper 
separation made between puns and true wit by any of 
the ancient authors, except Quintilian and Longinus. 
But when this distinction was once settled, it was very 
natural for all men of sense to agree in it. As for the 
revival of this false wit, it happened about the time of 
the revival of letters; but as soon as it was once detected, 
it immediately vanished and disappeared. At the same 
time there is no question, but as it has sunk in one age 
and rose in another, it will again recover itself in some 
distant period of time, as pedantry and ignorance shall 
prevail upon wit and sense. And, to speak the truth, I 
do very much apprehend, by some of the last winter's 
productions, which had their sets of admirers, that our 
posterity will in a few years degenerate into a race of 
punsters; at least, a man may be very excusable for any 
apprehensions of this kind, that has seen acrostics handed 
about the town with great secrecy and applause; to which 
I must also add a little epigram called the Witches' 
Prayer, that fell into verse when it was read either back- 
ward or forward, excepting only that it cursed one way, 
and blessed the other. When one sees there are actually 
such painstakers among our British wits, who can tell 
what it may end in ? If we must lash one another, let it 


be with the manly strokes of wit and satire; for I am 
of the old philosopher's opinion, that, if I must suffer from 
one or the other, I would rather it should be from the 
paw of a lion than from the hoof of an ass. I do not 
speak this out of any spirit of party. There is a most 
crying dullness on both sides. I have seen Tory acrostics 
and Whig anagrams, and do not quarrel with either of 
them, because they are Whigs or Tories, but because they 
are anagrams and acrostics. 

But to return to punning. Having pursued the history 
of a pun, from its original to its downfall, I shall here 
define it to be a conceit arising from the use of two 
words that agree in the sound, but differ in the sense. The 
only way therefore to try a piece of wit, is to translate 
it into a different language. If it bears the test, you 
may pronounce it true; but if it vanishes in the experi- 
ment, you may conclude it to have been a pun. In short, 
one may say of a pun as the countryman described his 
nightingale, that it is ''vox et prceterea nihil" "a sound, 
and nothing but a sound.'' On the contrary, one may 
represent true wit by the description which Aristenetus 
makes of a fine woman : when she is dressed she is beauti- 
ful, when she is undressed she is beautiful ; or, as Mercerus 
has translated it more emphatically, ''Induitur, formosa 
est: exuitur, ipsa forma est/* C. 

[Spectator No. 66. Wednesday, May 16, 1711. Steele.] 

Motus doceri gaudet lonicos 
Mktura virgo; et fingitur artubus 
Jam nunc, et incestos amores 
De tenero meditatur ungui.^ 

Hob. 3 Od. vi. 21.: 

1 Behold a ripe and melting maid 
Bound 'prectice to the wanton trade : 
Ionian artists at a mighty price. 


The two following letters are upon a subject of very 
great importance, though expressed without any air of 
gravity : — 



"I take the freedom of asking your advice in behalf 
of a young country kinswoman of mine, who is lately 
come to town and under my care for her education. She 
is very pretty, but you can't imagine how unformed a 
creature it is. She comes to my hands just as nature 
left her, half finished, and without any acquired improve- 
ments. When I look on her I often think of the Belle 
Sauvage mentioned in one of your papers. Dear Mr. 
Spectator, help me to make her comprehend the visible 
graces of speech, and the dumb eloquence of motion; for 
she is at present a perfect stranger to both. She knows 
no way to express herself but by her tongue, and that 
always to signify her meaning. Her eyes serve her yet 
only to see with, and she is utterly a foreigner to the 
language of looks and glances. In this I fancy you could 
help her better than anybody. I have bestowed two 
months in teaching her to sigh when she is not con- 
cerned, and to smile when she is not pleased, and am 
ashamed to own she makes little or no improvement. 
Then she is no more able now to walk than she was to 
go at a year old. By walking you will easily know I 
mean that regular but easy motion which gives our per- 
sons so irresistible a grace as if we moved to music, and 
is a kind of disengaged figure; or, if I may so speak, 
recitative dancing. But the want of this I cannot blame 
in her, for I find she has no ear, and means nothing by 
walking but to change her place. I could pardon too her 

Instruct her in the mysteries of vice, 

What nets to spread, where subtle baits to lay ; 

And with an early hand they form the temper'd clay. 


blushing, if she knew how to carry herself in it, and if 
it did not manifestUy injure her complexion. 

"They tell me you are a person who have seen the 
world, and are a judge of fine breeding; which makes me 
ambitious of some instructions from you for her improve- 
ment : which when you have favored me with, I shall 
farther advise with you about the disposal of this fair 
forester in marriage; for I will make it no secret to you, 
that her person and education are to be her fortune. 
"I am, Sir, 

^Tour very humble servant, 


"Being employed by Celimene to make up and send to 
you her letter, I make bold to recommend the case therein 
mentioned to your consideration, because she and I happen 
to differ a little in our notions. I, who am a rough man, 
am afraid the young girl is in a fair way to be spoiled: 
therefore pray, Mr. Spectator, let us have your opinion 
of this fine thing called fine breeding; for I am afraid it 
differs too much from that plain thing called good 

"Your most humble servant." ^ 

The general mistake among us in the educating our 
children is, that in our daughters we take care of their 
persons and neglect their minds ; in our sons we are so in- 
tent upon adorning their minds that we wholly neglect 
their bodies. It is from this that you shall see a young 
lady celebrated and admired in all the assemblies about 
town, when her elder brother is afraid to come into a 
room. From this ill management it arises, that we fre- 
quently observe a man's life is half spent before he is 
taken notice of; and a woman in the prime of her years 
is out of fashion and neglected. The boy I shall consider 

^ John Hughes, it is said, was the author of this and the pre- 
ceding letter. 


upon some other occasion, and at present stick to the 
girl: and I am the more inclined to this, because I have 
several letters which complain to me that my female 
readers have not understood me for some days last past, 
and take themselves to be unconcerned in the present turn 
of my writings. When a girl is safely brought from her 
nurse, before she is capable of forming one simple notion 
of anything in life, she is delivered to the hands of her 
dancing-master; and with a collar round her neck the 
pretty wild thing is taught a fantastical gravity of be- 
havior, and . forced to a particular way of holding her 
head, heaving her breast, and moving with her whole 
body; and all this under pain of never having a husband 
if she steps, looks, or moves awry. This gives the young 
lady wonderful workings of imagination what is to pass 
between her and this husband that she is every moment 
told of, and for whom she seems to be educated. Thus 
her fancy is engaged to turn all her endeavors to the 
ornament of her person as what must determine her good 
and ill in this life; and she naturally thinks, if she is 
tall enough, she is wise enough for anything for which 
her education makes her think she is designed. To make 
her an agreeable person is the main purpose of her par- 
ents ; to that is all their cost, to that all their care directed ; 
and from this general folly of parents we owe our present 
numerous race of coquettes. These reflections puzzle me 
when I think of giving my advice on the subject of 
managing the wild thing mentioned in the letter of my 
correspondent. But sure there is a middle way to be 
followed: the management of a young lady's person is 
not to be overlooked, but the erudition of her mind is 
much more to be regarded. According as this is man- 
aged you will see the mind follow the appetites of the 
body, or the body express the virtues of the mind. 

Cleomira dances with all the elegance of motion imagin- 
able; but her eyes are so chastised with the simplicity and 
innocence of her thoughts that she raises in her beholders 
admiration and good-will, but no loose hope or wild 


imagination. The true art in this case is to make the 
mind and body improve together; and, if possible, to make 
gesture follow thought, and not let thought be employed 
upon gesture. E. 

[Spectator No. 70. Monday, May 21, 1711. Addison.] 
Interdum vulgus rectum videt.^ — Hob. 

When I traveled, I took a particular delight in hearing 
the songs and fables that are come from father to son, 
and are most in vogue among the common people of 
the countries through which I passed; for it is impos- 
sible that anything should be universally tasted and 
approved by a multitude, though they are only the rabble 
of a nation, which hath not in it some peculiar aptness 
to please and gratify the mind of man. Human nature is 
the same in all reasonable creatures; and whatever falls 
in with it, will meet with admirers amongst readers of all 
qualities and conditions. Moliere, as we are told by 
Monsieur Boileau, used to read all his comedies to an 
old woman who was his housekeeper, as she sat with 
him at her work by the chimney-comer; and could fore- 
tell the success of his play in the theater, from the recep- 
tion it met at his fire-side: for he tells us the audience 
always followed the old woman, and never failed to laugh 
in the same place. 

I know nothing which more shows the essential and 
inherent perfection of simplicity of thought, above that 
which I call the Gothic manner in writing, than this; 
the first pleases all kinds of palates, and the latter only 
such as have formed to themselves a wrong artificial taste 
upon little fanciful authors and writers of epigram. 
Homer, Virgil, or Milton, so far as the language of their 
poems is understood, will please a reader of plain com- 
mon sense, who would neither relish nor comprehend an 
epigram of Martial, or a poem of Cowley: so, on the 

* Sometimes the vulgar see and judge aright. 


contrary, an ordinary song or ballad that is the delight 
of the common people, cannot fail to please all such 
readers as are not unqualified for the entertainment by 
their affectation or ignorance; and the reason is plain, 
because the same paintings of nature which recommend 
it to the most ordinary reader, will appear beautiful to 
the most refined. 

The old song of Chevy Chase is the favorite ballad 
of the common people of England; and Ben Jonson used 
to say he had rather have been the author of it than 
of all his works. Sir Philip Sidney in his discourse of 
Poetry speaks of it in the following words: "I never 
heard the old song of Percy and Douglas, that I found 
not my heart more moved than with a trumpet; and yet 
it is sung by some blind crowder with no rougher voice 
than rude style; which being so evil appareled in the 
dust and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would it work 
trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindar?'^ For my 
own part, I am so professed an admirer of this antiquated 
song, that I shall give my reader a critique upon it, with- 
out any further apology for so doing. 

The greatest modern critics have laid it down as a 
rule, that an heroic poem should be founded upon some 
important precept of morality, adapted to the constitu- 
tion of the country in which the poet writes. Homer and 
Virgil have formed their plans in this view. As Greece 
was a collection of many governments, who suffered very 
much among themselves, and gave the Persian emperor, 
who was their common enemy, many advantages over 
them by their mutual jealousies and animosities. Homer, 
in order to establish among them an union, which was so 
necessary for their safety, grounds his poem upon the 
discords of the several Grecian princes who were engaged 
in a confederacy against an Asiatic prince, and the several 
advantages which the enemy gained by such their dis- 
cords. At the time the poem we are now treating of 
was written, the dissensions of the barons, who were then 
so many petty princes, ran very high, whether they quar- 


reled among themselves or with their neighbors, and 
produced unspeakable calamities to the country : The poet, 
to deter men from such unnatural contentions, describes 
a bloody battle and dreadful scene of death, occasioned 
by the mutual feuds which reigned in the families of an 
English and Scotch nobleman: That he designed this 
for the instruction of his poem, we may learn from his 
four last lines, in which, after the example of the modern 
tragedians, he draws from it a precept for the benefit of 
his readers. 

God save the King, and bless the land 

In plenty, joy, and peace; 
And grant henceforth that foul debate 

'Twixt noblemen may cease. 

The next point observed by the greatest heroic poets, 
hath been to celebrate persons and actions which do honor 
to their country: thus Virgil's hero was the founder of 
Home, Homer's a prince of Greece; and for this reason 
Valerius Elaccus and Statins, who were both Romans, 
might be justly derided for having chosen the expedition 
of the Golden Fleece, and the Wars of Thehes, for the sub- 
ject of their epic writings. 

The poet before us, has not only found out an hero in 
his own country, but raises the reputation of it by several 
beautiful incidents. The English are the first who take 
the field, and the last who quit it. The English bring 
only fifteen hundred to the battle, and the Scotch two 
thousand. The English keep the field with fifty-three : the 
Scotch retire with fifty-five: all the rest on each side 
being slain in battle. But the most remarkable cir- 
cumstance of this kind is the different manner in which 
the Scotch and English kings receive the news of this 
fight, and of the great men's deaths who commanded in it. 

This news was brought to Edinburgh, 

Where Scotland's king did reign, 
That brave Earl Douglas suddenly 

Was with an arrow slain. 


heavy news, King James did say, 
Scotland can witness be, 

1 have not any captain more 
Of such account as he. 

Like tidings to King Henry came 

Within as short a space, 
That Percy of Northumberland 

Was slain in Chevy-Chase. 

Now God be with him, said our King, 

Sith 'twill no better be, 
I trust I have within my realm 

Five hundred as good as he. 

Yet shall not Scot nor Scotland say 

But I will vengeance take, 
And be revenged on them all 

For brave Lord Percy's sake. 

This vow full well the King performed 

After on Humble-down, 
In one day fifty knights were slain, 

With lords of great renown. 

And of the rest of small account 
Did many thousand die, etc. 

At the same time that our poet shows a laudable partiality 
to his countrymen, he represents the Scots after a manner 
not unbecoming so bold and brave a people. 

Earl Douglas on a milk-white steed, 

Most like a baron bold. 
Rode foremost of the company. 

Whose armor shone like gold. 

His sentiments and actions are every way suitable to an 
hero. One of us two, says he, must die: I am an earl as 
well as yourself, so that you can have no pretence for 
refusing the combat: however, says he, 'tis pity, and in- 
deed would be a sin, that so many innocent men should 


perish for our sakes, rather let you and I end our quarrel 
in single fight. 

Ere thus I will outbraved be, 

One of us two shall die; 
I know thee well, an earl thou art. 

Lord Percy, so am I. 

But trust me, Percy, pity it were^ 

And great offence, to kill 
Any of these our harmless men, 

For they have done no ill. 

Let thou and I the battle try, 

And set our men aside; 
Accurs'd be he. Lord Percy said, 

By whom this is denied. 

When these brave men had distinguished themselves in 
the battle and in single combat with each other, in the 
midst of a generous parley, full of heroic sentiments, the 
Scotch earl falls; and with his dying words encourages 
his men to revenge his death, representing to them, as 
the most bitter circumstance of it, that his rival saw him 

With that there came an arrow keen 

Out of an English bow, 
Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart 

A deep and deadly blow. 

Who never spoke more words than these, 

Fight on my merry men all. 
For why, my life is at an end, 

Lord Percy sees my fall. 

^^Merry men,'' in the language of those times, is no 
more than a cheerful word for companions and fellow- 
soldiers. A passage in the eleventh book of Virgil's 
^neids is very much to be admired, where Camilla in her 
last agonies, instead of weeping over the wound she had 


received, as one might have expected from a warrior of 
her sex, considers only (like the hero of whom we are now 
speaking) how the battle should be continued after her 

Turn sic expirans, etc. 

A gathering mist o'erclouds her cheerful eyes; 
And from her cheeks the rosy color flies. 
Then turns to her, whom, of her female train, 
She trusted most, and thus she speaks with pain; 
Acca, 'tis past! he swims before my sight. 
Inexorable death; and claims his right. 
Bear my last words to Turnus, fly with speed, 
And bid him timely to my charge succeed: 
Repel the Trojans, and the town relieve: 

Turnus did not die in so heroic a manner; though our 
poet seems to have had his eye upon Turnus's speech in 
the last verse. 

Lord Percy sees my fall. 

Vicisti, et victum tendere palmas 
Ausonii videre. 
The Latian chiefs have seen me beg my life. 

Earl Percy's lamentation over his enemy is generous, 
beautiful and passionate; I must only caution the reader 
not to let the simplicity of the style, which one may well 
pardon in so old a poet, prejudice him against the great- 
ness of the thought. 

Then leaving life, Earl Percy took 

The dead man by the hand, 
And said. Earl Douglas, for thy life 

Would I had lost my land. 

Christ! my very heart doth bleed 

With sorrow for thy sake; 
For sure a more renowned knight 

Mischance did never take. 


That beautiful line, ^Taking the dead man by the hand/^ 
will put the reader in mind of ^neas's behavior towards 
Lausus, whom he himself had slain as he came to the 
rescue of his aged father. 

At vero ut vultum vidit morientis, et era, 

Ora modis Anchisiades pallentia miris; 

Ingemuit miserans graviter, dextramque tetendit, etc. 

The pious prince beheld young Lausus dead; 

He grieved he wept; then grasped his hand, and said, 

Poor hapless youth! what praises can be paid 

To worth so great! 

I shall take another opportunity to consider the other 
parts of this old song. 

[Spectator No. 72. Wednesday, May 23, 1711. Addison.] 

— Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos 
Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum. 

ViBG. Georg. iv. 208. 

Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns. 

The fortune of the family remains, 

And grandsire's grandsons the long list contains. 

Having already given my reader an account of several 
extraordinary clubs both ancient and modern, I did not 
design to have troubled him with any more narratives of 
this nature; but I have lately received information of a 
club, which I can call neither ancient nor modern, that I 
dare say will be no less surprising to my reader than it 
was to myself; for which reason I shall communicate it 
to the public as one of the greatest curiosities in its kind. 

A friend of mine complaining of a tradesman who is 
related to him, after having represented him as a very 
idle worthless fellow, who neglected his family and spent 
most of his time over a bottle, told me, to conclude his 


character, that he was a member of the Everlasting Club. 
So very odd a title raised my curiosity to inquire into 
the nature of a club that had such a sounding name; upon 
which my friend gave me the following account: 

The Everlasting Club consists of a hundred members, 
who divide the whole twenty-four hours among them in 
such a manner, that the club sits day and night from one 
end of the year to another; no party presuming to rise 
till they are relieved by those who are in course to suc- 
ceed them. By this means a member of the Everlasting 
Club never wants company; for though he is not upon 
duty himself, he is sure to find some who are; so that 
if he be disposed to take a whet, a nooning, an evening's 
draught, or a bottle after midnight, he goes to the club, 
and finds a knot of friends to his mind. 

It is a maxim in this club that the steward never dies; 
for as they succeed one another by way of rotation, no 
man is to quit the great elbow-chair which stands at the 
upper end of the table, till his successor is in readiness 
to fill it; insomuch that there has not been a sede vacante 
in the memory of man. 

This club was instituted towards the end (or, as some 
of them say, about the middle) of the civil wars, and 
continued without interruption till the time of the great 
fire, which burnt them out, and dispersed them for several 
weeks. The steward at that time maintained his post till 
he had like to have been blown up with a neighboring 
house (which was demolished in order to stop the fire) ; 
and would not leave the chair at last, till he had emptied 
all the bottles upon the table, and received repeated direc- 
tions from the club to withdraw himself. This steward 
is frequently talked of in the club, and looked upon by 
every member of it as a greater man than the famous 
captain mentioned in my Lord Clarendon, who was but 
in his ship because he would not quit it without orders. 
It is said that towards the close of 1700, being the great 
year of Jubilee, the club had it under consideration 
whether they should break up or continue their session; 


but after many speeches and debates, it was at length 
agreed to sit out the other century. This resolution 
passed in a general club nemine contradicente* 

Having given this short account of the institution 
and continuation of the Everlasting Club, I should here 
endeavor to say something of the manners and characters 
of its several members, which I shall do according to 
the best light I have received in this matter. 

It appears by their books in general, that, since their 
first institution, they have smoked fifty tons of tobacco, 
drank thirty thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogs- 
heads of red port, two hundred barrels of brandy, and a 
kilderkin of small beer. There has been likewise a great 
consumption of cards. It is also said that they observe 
the law in Ben Jonson's club, which orders the fire to be 
always kept in (focus perennis esto), as well for the con- 
venience of lighting their pipes, as to cure the dampness 
of the club-room. They have an old woman in the nature 
of a vestal, whose business it is to cherish and perpetuate 
the fire which burns from generation to generation, and 
has seen the glass-house fires in and out above a hundred 

The Everlasting Club treats all other clubs with an 
eye of contempt, and talks even of the Kit-Cat and Octo- 
ber as a couple of upstarts. Their ordinary discourse (as 
much as I have been able to learn of it) turns altogether 
upon such adventures as have passed in their own assem- 
bly; of members who have taken the glass in their turns 
for a week together, without stirirng out of the club; of 
others who have smoked a hundred pipes at a sitting; 
of others who have not missed their morning's draught 
for twenty years together. Sometimes they speak in 
raptures of a run of ale in king Charles's reign; and 
sometimes reflect with astonishment upon games at whist, 
which have been miraculously recovered by members of 
the society, when in all human probability the case was 

They delight in several old catches, which they sing at 


all hours to encourage one another to moisten their clay, 
and grow immortal by drinking; with many other edify- 
ing exhortations of the like nature. 

There are four general clubs held in a year, at which 
times they fill up vacancies, appoint waiters, confirm the 
old fire-maker or elect a new one, settle contributions for 
coals, pipes, tobacco, and other accessories. 

The senior member has outlived the whole club twice 
over, and has been drunk with the grandfathers of some 
of the present sitting members. C. 

[Spectator No. 74. FRroAY, May 25, 1711. Addison.] 
Pendent opera interrupta.^ — ^ViBG. 

In my last Monday's paper I gave some general in- 
stances of those beautiful strokes which please the reader 
in the old song of Chevy Chase; I shall here, according 
to my promise, be more particular, and show that the 
sentiments in that ballad are extremely natural and poet- 
ical, and full of the majestic simplicity which we admire 
in the greatest of the ancient poets: for which reason I 
shall quote several passages of it, in which the thought is 
altogether the same with what we meet in several pas- 
sages of the ^neid; not that I would infer from thence, 
that the poet (whoever he was) proposed to himself any 
imitation of those passages, but that he was directed to 
them in general by the same kind of poetical genius, and 
by the same copyings after nature. 

Had this old song been filled with epigrammatical turns 
and points of wit, it might perhaps have pleased the 
wrong taste of some readers; but it would never have 
become the delight of the common people, nor have 
warmed the heart of Sir Philip Sidney like the sound of 
a trumpet; it is only nature that can have this effect, 
and please those tastes which are the most unprejudiced 
or the most refined. I must however beg leave to dissent 
from so great an authority as that of Sir Philip Sidney, 

*Tbe works unfinished and neglected lie. 


in the judgment which he has passed as to the rude style 
and evil apparel of this antiquated song; for there are 
several parts in it where not only the thought but the lan- 
guage is majestic, and the numbers sonorous; at least, the 
apparel is much more gorgeous than many of the poets 
made use of in Queen Elizabeth's time, as the reader will 
see in several of the following quotations. 

What can be greater than either the thought or the ex- 
pression in that stanza, 

To drive the deer with hound and horn 

Earl Percy took his way; 
Th© child may rue that is unborn 

The hunting of that day! 

This way of considering the misfortunes which this 
battle would bring upon posterity, not only on those 
who were born immediately after the battle, and lost their 
fathers in it, but on those also who perished in future 
battles which took their rise from this quarrel of the two 
earls, is wonderfully beautiful, and conformable to the 
way of thinking among the ancient poets. 

Audiet pugnas vitio parentum 
Kara juventus. Hop. 

Posterity, thinn'd by their fathers' crimes, 
Shall read with grief the story of their times. 

What can be more sounding and poetical, or resemble 
more the majestic simplicity of the ancients, than the 
following stanzas? 

The stout Earl of Northumberland 

A vow to God did make, 
His pleasure in the Scottish woods 

Three summer's days to take. 

With fifteen hundred bowmen bold, 

All chosen men of might, 
Who knew full well, in time of need. 

To aim their shafts aright. 


The hounds ran swiftly through the woods 

The nimble deer to take; 
And with their cries the hills and dales 

An echo shrill did make. 

Vocat ingenti clamore Cithseron 
Taygetique canes, domitrixque Epidaurus equorum: 
Et vox assensu nemorum ingeminata remugit. 

Cithaeron loudly calls me to my way; 

Thy hounds, Taygetus, open, and pursue the prey: 

High Epidaurus urges on my speed, 

Fam'd for his hills, and for his horses' breed: 

From hills and dales the cheerful cries rebound; 

For Echo hunts along and propagates the sound. 

Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come, 

His men in armor bright; 
Full twenty hundred Scottish speaxB, 

All marching in our sight. 

All men of pleasant Tividale, 
Fast by the river Tweed, etc. 

The country of the Scotch warriors, described in these two 
last verses, has a fine romantic situation, and affords a 
couple of smooth words for verse. If the reader com- 
pares the foregoing six lines of the song with the follow- 
ing Latin verses, he will see how much they are written 
in the spirit of Virgil. 

Adversi campo apparent, hastasque reductis 
Protendunt longe dextris; et spicula vibrant: 
Quique altum Praeneste viri, quique arva Gabinse 
Junonis, gelidumque Anienem, et roscida rivis 
Hernica saxa colunt: — qui rosea rura Velini, 
Qui Tetricse horrentes rupes, montemque SeverunL 
Casperiamque colunt, Forulosque et flumen Himellse: 
Qui Tiberim Fabarimque bibunt. 

Advancing in a line, they couch their spears — 
— Prseneste sends a chosen band, 
With those who plow Saturnia'i Gabine land: 
Besides the succours which cold Anien yields; 


The rocks of Hernicus — ^besides a band ,. 
That followed from Velinum's dewy land — ■ 
And mountaineers that from Severus came: 
And from the craggy cliffs of Tetrica; 
And those where yellow Tiber takes his way, 
And where Himella's wanton waters play; 
Casperia sends her arms, with those that lie 
By Fabaris, and fruitful Foruli. 

But to proceed. 

Earl Douglas on a milk-white steed, 

Most like a baron bold, 
Rode foremost of the company, 

Whose armor shown like gold, 

Turnus ut antevolans tardum praecesserat agmen, etc. 
Vidisti, quo Turnus equo, quibus ibat in armis 

Our English archers bent their bows, 
Their hearts were good and true; 

At the first flight of arrows sent, 
Full threescore Scots they slew. 

They closed full fast on every side, 

No slackness there was found: 
And many a gallant gentleman 

Lay gasping on the ground. 

With that there came an arrow keen 

Out of an English bow, 
Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart 

A deep and deadly blow. 

^neas was wounded after the same manner by an un- 
known hand in the midst of a parley. 

Has inter voces, media inter talia verba, 
Ecce viro stridens alis allapsa sagitta est, 
Incertum qua pulsa manu. 

Thus, while he spake, unmindful of defense, 
A winged arrow struck the pious prince; 
But whether from an human hand it came, 
Or hostile god, is left unknown by fame. 


But of all the descriptive parts of this song, there are 
none more beautiful than the four following stanzas, 
which have a great force and spirit in them, and are filled 
with very natural circumstances. The thought in the 
third stanza was never touched by any other poet, and 
is such an one as would have shined in Homer or in 

So thus did both these nobles die. 

Whose courage none could stain: 
An English archer then perceived 

The noble Earl was slain. 

He had a bow bent in his hand, 

Made of a trusty tree, 
An arrow of a cloth-yard long 

Unto the head drew he. 

Against Sir Hugh Montgomery 

So right his shaft he set, 
The gray goose wing that was thereon 

In his heart-blood was wet. 

This fight did last from break of day 

Till setting of the sun; 
For when they rung the evening bell 

The battle scarce was done. 

One may observe likewise, that in the catalogue of the 
slain the author has followed the example of the greatest 
ancient poets, not only in giving a long list of the dead, 
but by diversifying it with little characters of particular 

And with Earl Douglas there was slain 

Sir Hugh Montgomery, 
Sir Charles Carrel, that from the field 

One foot would never fly: 

Sir Charles Murrel of Ratcliff too, 

His sister's son was he, 
Sir David Lamb, so well esteemed. 

Yet saved could not be. 


The familiar sound in these names destroys the majesty 
of the description; for this reason I do not mention this 
part of the poem but to show the natural cast of thought 
which appears in it, as the two last verses look almost 
like a translation of Virgil. 

Cadit et Ripheus, justissimus unus 
Qui fuit in Teucris et servantissimus sequi, 
Diis aliter risum est. 

Then Ripheus fell in the unequal fight, 
Just of his word, observant of the right: 
Heav'n thought not so. 

In the catalogue of the English who fell, Witherington's 
behavior is in the same manner particularlized very 
artfully, as the reader is prepared for it by that account 
which is given of him in the b^inning of the battle; 
though I am satisfied your little buffoon readers (who 
have seen that passage ridiculed in Hudibras) will not 
be able to take the beauty of it: for which reason I dare 
not so much as quote it. 

Then stept a gallant squire forth, 
Witherington was his name, 

Who said, I would not have it told 
To Henry our King for shame. 

That e'er my captain fought on foot 
And I stood looking on. 

We meet with the same heroic sentiment in Virgil. 

Non pudet, Rutuli, cimctis pro talibus imam 
Objectare animam? numerone an viribus sequi 
Non sumus? 

For shame, Rutilians, can you bear the sight 
Of one exposed for all in single fight? 
Can we before the face of heav'n confess 
Our courage colder, or our numbers less! 


What can be more natural or more moving, than the 
circumstances in which he describes the behavior of those 
women who had lost their husbands on this fatal day? 

Next day did many widows come, 

Their husbands to bewail; 
They washed their wounds in brinish tears. 

But all would not prevail. 

Their bodies bathed in purple blood. 

They bore with them away; 
They kissed them dead a thousand times, 

When they were clad in clay. 

Thus we see how the thoughts of this poem, which 
naturally arise from the subject, are always simple, and 
sometimes exquisitely noble; that the language is often 
very sounding, and that the whole is written with a true 
poetical spirit. 

If this song had been written in the Gothic manner, 
which is the delight of all our little wits, whether writers 
or readers, it would not have hit the taste of so many 
ages, and have pleased the readers of all ranks and 
conditions. I shall only beg pardon for such a profusion 
of Eatin quotations; which I should not have made use 
of, but that I feared my own judgment would have 
looked too singular on such a subject, had not I supported 
it by the practice and authority of Virgil. 

[Spectator No. 81. Saturday, June 2, 1711. Addison.] 

Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure Tigris 
Horruit in maculas — 

— Statius. 

As when the tigress hears the himter's din, 
Dark angry spots distain her glossy skin. 

About the middle of last winter I went to see an opera 
at the theatre in the Haymarket, where I could not but 
take notice of two parties of very fine women, that had 
placed themselves in the opposite side-boxes, and seemed 


drawn up in a kind of battle array one against another. 
After a short survey of them, I found they were patched 
differently; the faces on one hand being spotted on the 
right side of the forehead, and those upon the other on 
the left. I quickly perceived that they cast hostile glances 
upon one another; and that their patches were placed in 
those different situations, as party-signals to distinguish 
friends from foes. In the middle boxes, between these 
two opposite bodies, were several ladies who patched 
indifferently on both sides of their faces, and seemed to 
sit there with no other intention but to see the opera. 
Upon inquiry I found, that the body of Amazons on my 
right hand, were Whigs, and those on my left, Tories ; and 
that those who had placed themselves in the middle boxes 
were a neutral party, whose faces had not yet declared 
themselves. These last, however, as I afterwards found, 
diminished daily, and took their party with one side or 
the other; insomuch that I observed in several of them, 
the patches, which were before dispersed equally, are now 
all gone over to the Whig or Tory side of the face. The 
censorious say, that the men, whose hearts are aimed at, 
are very often the occasions that one part of the face is 
thus dishonored, and lies under a kind of disgrace, while 
the other is so much set off and adorned by the owner; 
and that the patches turn to the right or to the left, ac- 
cording to the principles of the man who is most in 
favor. But whatever may be the motives of a few fan- 
tastical coquettes, who do not patch for the public good 
so much as for their own private advantage, it is certain, 
that there are several women of honor who patch out of 
principle, and with an eye to the interest of their country. 
Nay, I am informed that some of them adhere so stead- 
fastly to their party, and are so far from sacrificing their 
zeal for the public to their passion for any particular 
person, that in a late draft of marriage articles a lady has 
stipulated with her husband, that, whatever his opinions 
are, she shall be at liberty to patch on which side she 


I must here take notice, that Eosalinda, a famous Whig 
partisan, has most unfortunately a very beautiful mole 
on the Tory part of her forehead; which being very con- 
spicuous, has occasioned many mistakes, and given a 
handle to her enemies to misrepresent her face, as though 
it had revolted from the Whig interest. But, whatever 
this natural patch may seem to intimate, it is well-known 
that her notions of government are still the same. This 
unlucky mole, however, has misled several coxcombs; and 
like the hanging out of false colors, made some of them 
converse with Eosalinda in what they thought the spirit 
of her party, when on a sudden she has given them an 
unexpected fire, that has sunk them all at once. If 
Eosalinda is unfortunate in her mole, Nigranilla is as 
unhappy in a pimple, which forces her, against her in- 
clinations, to patch on the Whig side. 

I am told that many virtuous matrons, who formerly 
have been taught to believe that this artificial spotting 
of the face was unlawful, are now reconciled by a zeal 
for their cause, to what they could not be prompted by 
a concern for their beauty. This way of declaring war 
upon one another, puts me in mind of what is reported 
of the tigress, that several spots rise in her skin when she 
is angry, or as Mr. Cowley has imitated the verses that 
stand as the motto on this paper, 

-She swells with angry pride. 

And calls forth all her spots on ev'ry side. 

When I was in the theater the time above-mentioned, I 
had the curiosity to count the patches on both sides, and 
found the Tory patches to be about twenty stronger than 
the Whig; but to make amends for this small inequality, 
I the next morning found the whole puppet-show filled 
with faces spotted after the Whiggish manner. Whether or 
no the ladies had retreated hither in order to rally their 
forces I cannot tell ; but the next night they came in so great 
a body to the opera, that they outnumbered the enemy. 

This account of party patches will, I am afraid, appear 


improbable to those who live at a distance from the fash- 
ionable world; but as it is a distinction of a very singu- 
lar nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a 
parallel, I think I should not have discharged the office 
of a faithful Spectator, had I not recorded it. 

I have, in former papers, endeavored to expose this 
party-rage in women, as it only serves to aggravate the 
hatreds and animosities that rei^^ among men, and in a 
great measure deprive the fair sex of those peculiar 
charms with which nature has endowed them. 

When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just 
upon the point of giving battle, the women, who were al- 
lied to both of them, interposed with so many tears and 
entreaties, that they prevented the mutual slaughter which 
threatened both parties, and united them together in a 
firm and lasting peace. 

I would recommend this noble example to our British 
ladies, at a time when their country is torn with so many 
unnatural divisions, that if they continue, it will be a 
misfortune to be born in it. The Greeks thought it so im- 
proper for women to interest themselves in competitions 
and contentions, that for this reason, among others, they 
forbade them, under pain of death, to be present at the 
Olympic games, notwithstanding these were the public 
diversions of all Greece. 

As our English women excel those of all nations in 
beauty, they should endeavor to outshine them in all other 
accomplishments proper to the sex, and to distinguish 
themselves as tender mothers, and faithful wives, rather 
than as furious partisans. Female virtues are of a do- 
mestic turn. The family is the proper province for pri- 
vate women to shine in. If they must be showing their 
zeal for the public, let it not be against those who are per- 
haps of the same family, or at least of the same religion . 
or nation, but against those who are the open, professed, 
undoubted enemies of their faith, liberty, and country. 
When the Eomans were pressed with a foreign enemy, the 
ladies voluntarily contributed all their rings and jewels 


to assist the government under a public exigence, which 
appeared so laudable an action in the eyes of their coun- 
trymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a law 
to pronounce public orations at the funeral of a woman 
in praise of the deceased person, which till that time was 
peculiar to men. Would our English ladies, instead of 
sticking on a patch against those of their own country, 
show themselves so truly public-spirited as to sacrifice 
every one her necklace against the common enemy, what 
decrees ought not to be made in favor of them? 

Since I am recollecting upon this subject such pas- 
sages as occur to my memory out of ancient authors, I 
cannot omit a sentence in the celebrated funeral oration 
of Pericles, which he made in honor of those brave Athe- 
nians that were slain in a fight with the Lacedaemonians. 
After having addressed himself to the several ranks and 
orders of his countrymen, and shown them how they 
should behave themselves in the public cause, he turns 
to the female part of his audience : "And as for you (says 
he) I shall advise you in very few words : Aspire only to 
those virtues that are peculiar to your sex; follow your 
natural modesty, and think it your greatest commendation 
not to be talked of one way or other." C. 

[Spectator No. 98. Friday, June 22, 1711. Addison.] 

Tanta est quaerendi cura decoris. 

— Juv. Sat. vi. 500. 
So studiously their persons they adorn. 

There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady^s 
headdress. Within my own memory I have known it 
rise and fall above thirty degrees. About ten years ago 
it shot up to a very great height, insomuch that the fe- 
male part of our species were much taller than the men.^ 

* This refers to the commode (called by the B*rench fontange), 
a kind of head-dress worn by the ladies at the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, which by means of wire bore up the hair and 
fore part of the cap. consisting of many folds of fine lace, to a 
prodigious height. The transition from this to the opposite ex- 
treme was very abrupt and sudden. 


The women were of such an enormous stature, that "we 
appeared as grasshoppers before them'' ; ^ at present the 
whole sex is in a manner dwarfed, and shrunk into a 
race of beauties that seems almost another species. I 
remember several ladies, who were once very near seven 
foot high, that at present want some inches of five. How 
they came to be thus curtailed I cannot learn. Whether 
the whole sex be at present under any penance which 
we know nothing of ; or whether they have cast their head- 
dresses in order to surprise us with something in that 
kind which shall be entirely new; or whether some of the 
tallest of the sex, being too cunning for the rest, have 
contrived this method to make themselves appear sizeable, 
is still a secret; though I find most are of opinion, they 
are at present like trees new lopped and pruned, that 
will certainly sprout up and flourish with greater heads 
than before. For my own part, as I do not love to be 
insulted by women who are taller than myself, I admire 
the sex much more in their present humiliation, which 
has reduced them to their natural dimensions, than when 
they had extended their persons and lengthened them- 
selves out into formidable and gigantic figures. I am 
not for adding to the beautiful edifices of nature, nor for 
raising any whimsical superstructure upon her plans: I 
must therefore repeat it, that I am highly pleased with the 
coiffure now in fashion, and think it shows the good 
sense which at present very much reigns among the valu- 
able part of the sex. One may observe that women in 
all ages have taken more pains than men to adorn the 
outside of their heads; and indeed I very much admire, 
that those female architects who raise such wonderful 
structures oiU of ribands, lace, and wire, have not been 
recorded for their respective inventions. It is certain 
there have been as many orders in these kinds of build- 
ing, as in those which have been made of marble. Some- 
times they rise in the shape of a pyramid, sometimes like 

» Numbers xiii, 33. 


a tower, and sometimes like a steeple. In Juvenal's time 
the building grew by several orders and stories, as he has 
very humorously described it: 

"Tot premit ordinibus, tot adhuc compagibus altum 
^dificat caput: Andromachen a f route videbis; 
Post minor est: aliam credas." 

— Juv. Sat. vi. 501. 

"With curls on curls they build her head before, 
And mount it with a formidable tow'r: 
A giantess she seems; but look behind. 
And then she dwindles to the pigmy kind." 

But I do not remember in any part of my reading, that 
the head-dress aspired to so great an extravagance as in 
the fourteenth century; when it was built up in a couple 
of cones or spires, which stood so excessively high on each 
side of the head, that a woman, who was but a Pigmy 
without her head-dress, appeared like a Colossus upon put- 
ting it on. Monsieur Paradin^ says, "That these old- 
fashioned fontanges rose an ell above the head; that they 
were pointed like steeples; and had long loose pieces of 
crape fastened to the tops of them, which were curiously 
fringed, and hung down their backs like streamers." 

The women might possibly have carried this Gothic 
building much higher, had not a famous monk, Thomas 
Conecte by name, attacked it with great zeal and resolu- 
tion. This holy man traveled from place to place to 
preach down this monstrous commode; and succeeded so 
.well in it, that, as the magicians sacrificed their books to 
the flames upon the preaching of an apostle, many of the 
women threw down their head-dresses in the middle of 
his sermon, and made a bonfire of them within sight of 
the pulpit. He was so renowned, as weU for the sanc- 
tity of his life as his manner of preaching, that he had 
often a congregation of twenty thousand people; the men 
placing themselves on the one side of his pulpit, and the 

1 GuiUaume Paradin was a French writer of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, author of several voluminous histories. It is from his 
Annates de Bovrgoigne, published in 1566, that the following pas- 
sages are quoted. 


women on the other, that appeared (to use the similitude 
of an ingenious writer) like a forest of cedars with their 
heads reaching to the clouds. He so warmed and ani- 
mated the people against this monstrous ornament, that 
it lay under a kind of persecution; and, whenever it ap- 
peared in public, was pelted down by the rabble, who 
flung stones at the persons that wore it. But notwith- 
standing this prodigy vanished while the preacher was 
among them, it began to appear again some months after 
his departure, or, to tell it in Monsieur Paradin's own 
words, "the women, that like snails in a fright had drawn 
in their horns, shot them out again as soon as the dan- 
ger was over.'' This extravagance of the women's head- 
dresses in that age is taken notice of by Monsieur d'Ar- 
gentre in his History of Bretagne,^ and by other histori- 
ans, as well as the person I have here quoted. 

It is usually observed, that a good reign is the only 
proper time for the making of laws against the exorbitance 
of power ; in the same manner an excessive head-dress may 
be attacked the most effectually when the fashion is 
against it. I do therefore recommend this paper to my 
female readers by way of prevention. 

I would desire the fair sex to consider how impossible 
it is for them to add anything that can be ornamental 
to what is already the masterpiece of nature. The head 
has the most beautiful appearance, as well as the highest 
station, in a human figure. Nature has laid out all her 
art in beautifying the face; she has touched it with ver- 
milion, planted in it a double row of ivory, made it the 
seat of smiles and blushes, lighted it up and enlivened it 
with the brightness of the eyes, hung it on each side with 

1 Bertrand d'Argentre was an eminent French lawyer of the 
sixteenth century : his Histoire de Bretdgne was printed at Rennea 
in 1582. Thomas Conecte, mentioned above, was a Carmelite 
monk, bom in Bretagne, who began to be famous for his preach- 
ing in 1428. After having traveled through several parts of 
Europe, opposing the fashionable vices of the age, he came to 
Rome, where his zeal led him to reprove the enormities of the 
papal court and the dissoluteness of the Romish clergy. On thia 
he was imprisoned, tried, and condemned to the flames for heresy ; 
a punishment which he suffered with great constancy in 1434. 


the curious organs of sense, giving it airs and graces that 
cannot be described, and surrounded it with such a flow- 
ing shade of hair as sets all its beauties in the most agree- 
able light. In short, she seems to have designed the head 
as the cupola to the most glorious of her works ; and when 
we load it with such a pile of supernumerary ornaments, 
we destroy the symmetry of the human figure, and fool- 
ishly contrive to call off the eye from great and real beau- 
ties, to childish gewgaws, ribands, and bone-lace. L. 

[Spectator No. 106. Monday, July 2, 1711. Addison.] 

Hinc tibi copia 

Manabit ad plenum, benigno 
Kuris honorum opulenta cornu. 

— ^Horace. 
"Here plenty's liberal horn shall pour 
Of fruits for thee a copious show'r, 
Rich honors of the quiet plain." 

Having often received an invitation from my friend 
Sir Koger de Coverley, to pass away a month with him 
in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and 
am settled with him for some time at his country-house, 
where I intend to form several of my ensuing specula- 
tions. Sir Eoger, who is very well acquainted with my 
humor, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at 
his own table or in my chamber, as I think fit, sit still and 
say nothing without bidding me be merry. When the 
gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only shows 
me at a distance. As I have been walking in his fields I 
have observed them stealing a sight of me over an hedge, 
and have heard the knight desiring them not to let me 
see them, for that I hated to be stared at. 

I am the more at ease in Sir Eoger's family because it 
consists of sober and staid persons; for, as the knight is 
the best master in the world, he seldom changes his serv- 
ants; and as he is beloved by all about him, his servants 
never care for leaving him; by this means his domestics 


are all in years, and grown old with their master. You 
would take his valet de chamhre for his brother, his but- 
ler is gray-headed, his groom is one of the gravest men 
that I have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks 
of a privy counsellor. You see the goodness of the master 
even in the old house-dog, and in a gray pad that is kept 
in the stable with great care and tenderness, out of re- 
gard to his past services, though he has been useless for 
several years. 

I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure 
the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient 
domestics upon my friend's arrival at his country-seat. 
Some of them could not refrain from tears at the sight 
of their old master ; every one of them pressed forward to 
do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they 
were not employed. At the same time the good old 
knight, with a mixture of the father and the master of 
the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs 
with several kind questions relating to themselves. This 
humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so 
that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family 
are in good humor, and none so much as the person whom 
he diverts himself with; on the contrary, if he coughs, 
or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a 
stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all 
his servants. 

My worthy friend has put me under the particular care 
of his butler, who is a very prudent man, and, as well as 
the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully desirous of 
pleasing me, because they often heard their master talk 
of me as of his particular friend. 

My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting him- 
self in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man 
who is ever with Sir Eoger, and has lived at his house in 
the nature of a chaplain above thirty years. This gen- 
tleman is a person of good sense and some learning, of a 
very regular life and obliging conversation; he heartily 
loves Sir Roger, and knows that he is very much in the 


old knight's esteem, so that he lives in the family rather 
as a relation than a dependent. 

I have observed in several of my papers that my friend 
Sir Roger, amidst all his good qualities, is something of 
an humorist, and that his virtues as well as imperfec- 
tions are, as it were, tinged by a certain extravagance, 
which makes them particularly his, and distinguishes 
them from those of other men. This cast of mind, as it 
is generally very innocent in itself, so it renders his con- 
versation highly agreeable, and more delightful than the 
same degree of sense and virtue would appear in their 
common and ordinary colors. As I was walking with him 
last night, he asked me how I liked the good man whom 
I have just now mentioned, and without staying for my 
answer, told me that he was afraid of being insulted with 
Latin and Greek at his own table, for which reason he 
desired a particular friend of his, at the University, to 
find him out a clergyman rather of plain sense than much 
learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a sociable tem- 
per, and, if possible, a man that understood a little of 
backgammon. "My friend," says Sir Roger, "found me 
out this gentleman, who, besides the endowments required 
of him, is, they tell me, a good scholar, though he does 
not show it; I have given him the parsonage of the par- 
ish, and, because I know his value, have settled upon him 
a good annuity for life. If he outlives me, he shall find 
that he was higher in my esteem than perhaps he thinks 
he is. He has now been with me thirty years, and though 
he does not know I have taken notice of it, has never in 
all that time asked anything of me for himself, though he 
is every day soliciting me for something in behalf of one 
or other of my tenants, his parishioners. There has not 
been a lawsuit in the parish since he has lived among 
them; if any dispute arises they apply themselves to him 
for the decision; if they do not acquiesce in his judgment, 
which I think never happened above once, or twice at most,, 
they appeal to me. At his first settling with me I made 
him a present of all the good sermons which have been 


printed in English, and only begged of him that every 
Sunday he would pronounce one of them in the pulpit. 
Accordingly he has digested them into such a series that 
they follow one another naturally and make a continued 
system of practical divinity/' 

As Sir Roger was going on in his story, the gentleman 
we were talking of came up to us ; and upon the knight's 
asking him who preached to-morrow (for it was Saturday 
night), told us the Bishop of St. Asaph in the morning 
and Dr. South in the afternoon. He then showed us his 
list of preachers for the whole year, where I saw with 
a great deal of pleasure Archbishop Tillotson, Bishop 
Saunderson, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Calamy, with several liv- 
ing authors who have published discourses of practical 
divinity. I no sooner saw this venerable man in the pul- 
pit but I very much approved of my friend's insisting 
upon the qualifications of a good aspect and a clear voice; 
for I was so charmed with the gracefulness of his figure 
and delivery as well as with the discourses he pronounced, 
that I think I never passed any time more to my sat- 
isfaction. A sermon repeated after this manner is like 
the composition of a poet in the mouth of a graceful actor. 

I could heartily wish that more of our country clergy 
would follow this example; and, instead of wasting their 
spirits in laborious compositions of their own, would en- 
deavor after a handsome elocution and all those other tal- 
ents that are proper to enforce what has been penned 
by greater masters. This would not only be more easy to 
themselves, but more edifying to the people. L. 


[Spectator No. 107. Tuesday, July 3, 1711. Steele.] 

^sopo ingentem statuam posuere Attici, 
Serrumque collocarunt aeterna in basi, 
Patere honoris scirent ut cuncti viam.* 


The reception, manner of attendance, undisturbed free- 
dom and quiet, which I meet with here in the country, 
has confirmed me in the opinion I always had, that the 
general corruption of manners in servants is owing to 
the conduct of masters. The aspect of every one in the 
family carries so much satisfaction that it appears he 
knows the happy lot which has befallen him in being a 
member of it. There is one particular which I have sel- 
dom seen but at Sir Koger's; it is usual, in all other 
places, that servants fly from the parts of the house 
through which their master is passing; on the contrary, 
here, they industriously place themselves in his way; and 
it is on both sides, as it were, understood as a visit, when 
the servants appear without calling. This proceeds from 
the humane and equal temper of the man of the house, 
who also perfectly well knows how to enjoy a great es- 
tate with such economy as ever to be much beforehand. 
This makes his own mind untroubled, and consequently 
unapt to vent peevish expressions, or give passionate or 
inconsistent orders to those about him. Thus respect and 
love go together; and a certain cheerfulness in perform- 
ance of their duty is the particular distinction of the lower 
part of this family. When a servant is called before his 
master, he does not come with an expectation to hear 
himself rated for some trivial fault, threatened to be 
stripped, or used with any other unbecoming language, 
which mean masters often give to worthy servants; but 
it is often to know what road he took that he came so 

^ The Athenians erected a large statue to ^sop, and placed 
him, though a slave, on a lasting pedestal : to show that the 
way to honor lies open indifferently to alL 


readily back according to order; whether he passed by 
such a ground; if the old man who rents it is in good 
health; or whether he gave Sir Eoger's love to him, or the 

A man who preserves a respect founded on his benevo- 
lence to his dependents lives rather like a prince than a 
master in his family; his orders are received as favors 
rather than duties; and the distinction of approaching 
him is part of the reward for executing what is com- 
manded by him. 

There is another circumstance in which my friend ex- 
cels in his management, which is the manner of reward- 
ing his servants; he has ever been of opinion that giving 
his cast clothes to be worn by valets has a very ill effect 
upon little minds, and creates a silly sense of equality 
between the parties in persons affected only with outward 
things. I have heard him often pleasant on this occa- 
sion and describe a young gentleman abusing his man in 
that coat which a month or two before was the most pleas- 
ing distinction he was conscious of in himself. He would 
turn his discourse still more pleasantly upon the ladies' 
bounties of this kind; and I have heard him say he knew 
a fine woman who distributed rewards and punishments 
in giving becoming or unbecoming dresses to her maids. 

But my good friend is above these little instances of 
good-will in bestowing only trifles on his servants ; a good 
servant to him is sure of having it in his choice very soon 
of being no servant at all. As I before observed, he is so 
good an husband and knows so thoroughly that the skill 
of the purse is the cardinal virtue of this life, — I say, 
he knows so well that frugality is the support of generos- 
ity, that he can often spare a large fine when a tenement 
falls, and give that settlement to a good servant who has 
a mind to go into the world, or make a stranger pay the 
fine to that servant, for his more comfortable mainte- 
nance, if he stays in his service. 

A man of honor and generosity considers it would be 
miserable to himself to have no will but that of another, 


thougli it were of the best person breathing, and for that 
reason goes on as fast as he is able to put his servants 
into independent livelihoods. The greatest part of Sir 
Eoger's estate is tenanted by persons who have served 
himself or his ancestors. It was to me extremely pleas- 
ant to observe the visitants from several parts to welcome 
his arrival into the country; and all the difference that 
I could take notice of between the late servants who came 
to see him and those who stayed in the family, was that 
these latter were looked upon as finer gentlemen and bet- 
ter courtiers. 

This manumission and placing them in a way of liveli- 
hood I look upon as only what is due to a good servant, 
which encouragement will make his successor be as dili- 
gent, as humble, and as ready as he was. There is some- 
thing wonderful in the narrowness of those minds which 
can be pleased and be barren of bounty to those who 
please them. 

One might, on this occasion, recount the sense that 
great persons in all ages have had of the merit of their 
dependents, and the heroic services which men have done 
their masters in the extremity of their fortunes, and shown 
to their undone patrons that fortune was all the difference 
between them; but as I design this my speculation only 
as a gentle admonition to thankless masters, I shall not 
go out of the occurrences of common life, but assert it, 
as a general observation, that I never saw, but in Sir 
Roger's family and one or two more, good servants treated 
as they ought to be. Sir Roger's kindness extends to their 
children's children, and this very morning he sent his 
coachman's grandson to prentice. I shall conclude this 
paper with an account of a picture in his gallery, where 
there are many which will deserve my future observation. 

At the very upper end of this handsome structure I 
saw the portraiture of two young men standing in a river, 
the one naked, the other in a livery. The person sup- 
ported seemed half dead, but still so much alive as to 
show in his face exquisite joy and love toward the other. 


I thought the fainting figure resembled my friend. Sir 
Eoger; and, looking at the butler, who stood by me, for 
an account of it, he informed me that the person in the 
livery was a servant of Sir Roger's who stood on the 
shore while his master was swimming, and observing him 
taken with some sudden illness, and sink under water, 
jumped in and saved him. He told me Sir Roger took 
off the dress he was in as soon as he came home, and 
by a great bounty at that time, followed by his favor ever 
since, had made him master of that pretty seat which we 
saw at a distance as we came to this house. I remem- 
bered indeed Sir Eoger said there lived a very worthy 
gentleman, to whom he was highly obliged, without men- 
tioning anything further. Upon my looking a little dis- 
satisfied at some part of the picture, my attendant in- 
formed me that it was against Sir Eoger's will, and at 
the earnest request of the gentleman himself, that he was 
drawn in the habit in which he had saved his master. 


[Spectator No. 108. Wednesday, July 4, 1711. 

Gratis anhelans, multa agendo nihil agens.* 

— Ph^idbus. 

As I was yesterday morning walking with Sir Roger 
before his house, a country fellow brought him a huge 
fish, which, he told him, Mr. William Wimble had caught 
that very morning; and that he presented it, with his 
service to him, and intended to come and dine with him. 
At the same time he delivered him a letter, which my 
friend read to me as soon as the messenger left him : — 

^'SiR Roger, — 

*^I desire you to accept of a jack, which is the best I 
have caught this season. I intend to come and stay with 
you a week, and see how the perch bite in the Black 

* "Out of breath to no purpose, and very busy about nothing." 


Eiver. I observed with some concern, the last time I 
saw you upon the bowling-green, that your whip wanted 
a lash to it; I will bring half a dozen with me that I 
twisted last week, which I hope will serve you all the time 
you are in the country. I have not been out of the saddle 
for six days last past, having been at Eton with Sir John's 
eldest son. He takes to his learning hugely. 
'^I am, sir, your humble servant, 

'Will Wimble." 

This extraordinary letter and message that accompa- 
nied it made me very curious to know the character and 
quality of the gentleman who sent them, which I found 
to be as follows: Will Wimble is younger brother to a 
baronet, and descended of the ancient family of the Wim- 
bles. He is now between forty and fifty, but, being bred 
to no business and bom to no estate, he generally lives 
with his elder brother as superintendent of his game. 
He hunts a pack of dogs better than any man in the 
country, and is very famous for finding out a hare. He 
is extremely well versed in all the little handicrafts of 
an idle man; he makes a may-fly to a miracle, and fur- 
nishes the whole country with angle-rods. As he is a 
good-natured, officious fellow, and very much esteemed 
upon account of his family, he is a welcome guest at 
every house, and keeps up a good correspondence among 
all the gentlemen about him. He carries a tulip-root 
in his pocket from one to another, or exchanges a puppy 
between a couple of friends that live perhaps in the op- 
posite sides of the county. Will is a particular favorite 
of all the young heirs, whom he frequently obliges with 
a net that he has weaved or a setting-dog that he has made 
himself. He now and then presents a pair of garters of 
his own knitting to their mothers or sisters, and raises a 
great deal of mirth among them by inquiring as often 
as he meets them, hour they wear. These gentleman-like 
manufactures and obliging little humors make Will the 
darling of the country. 


Sir Eoger was proceeding in the character of him, when 
he saw him make up to us with two or three hazel-twigs in 
his hand that he had cut in Sir Eoger's wood, as he came 
through them, in his way to the house. I was very much 
pleased to observe on one side the hearty and sincere 
welcome with which Sir Koger received him, and on the 
other, the secret joy which his guest discovered at sight 
of the good old knight. After the first salutes were over, 
Will desired Sir Eoger to lend him one of his servants to 
carry a set of shuttlecocks he had with him in a little 
box to a lady that lived about a mile off, to whom it seems 
he had promised such a present for above this half year. 
Sir Eoger's back was no sooner turned but honest Will 
began to tell me of a large cock-pheasant that he had 
sprung in one of the neighboring woods, with two or three 
other adventures of the same nature. Odd and uncom- 
mon characters are the game that I look for and most 
delight in; for which reason I was as much pleased with 
the novelty of the person that talked to me as he could 
be for his life with the springing of a pheasant, and there- 
fore listened to him with more than ordinary attention. 

In the midst of his discourse the bell rung to dinner, 
where the gentleman I have been speaking of had the 
pleasure of seeing the huge jack he had caught served 
up for the first dish in a most sumptuous manner. Upon 
our sitting down to it he gave us a long account how 
he had hooked it, played with it, foiled it, and at length 
drew it out upon the bank, with several other particulars 
that lasted all the first course. A dish of wild-fowl that 
came afterward furnished conversation for the rest of the 
dinner, which concluded with a late invention of Will's 
for improving the quail-pipe. 

Upon withdrawing into my room after dinner, I was se- 
cretly touched with compassion toward the honest gen- 
tleman that had dined with us, and could not but con- 
sider, with a great deal of concern, how so good an heart 
and such busy hands were wholly employed in trifles ; that 
80 much humanity should be so little beneficial to otherSi 


and so much industry so little advantageous to himself. 
The same temper of mind and application to affairs might 
have recommended him to the public esteem and have 
raised his fortune in another station of life. What good 
to his country or himself might not a trader or mer- 
chant have done with such useful though ordinary quali- 
fications ? 

Will Wimble's is the case of many a younger brother 
of a great family, who had rather see their children 
starve like gentlemen than thrive in a trade or profession 
that is beneath their quality. This humor fills several 
parts of Europe with pride and beggary. It is the hap- 
piness of a trading nation, like ours, that the younger 
sons, though incapable of any liberal art or profession, 
may be placed in such a way of life as may perhaps en- 
able them to vie with the best of their family. Accord- 
ingly, we find several citizens that were launched into 
the world with narrow fortunes, rising by an honest in- 
dustry to greater estates than those of their elder brothers. 
It is not improbable that Will was formerly tried at di- 
vinity, law, or physic ; and that, finding his genius did not 
lie that way, his parents gave him up at length to his 
own inventions. But certainly, however improper he 
might have been for studies of a higher nature, he was 
perfectly well turned for the occupations of trade and 
commerce. As I think this is a point which cannot be 
too much inculcated, I shall desire my reader to compare 
what I have here written, with what I have said in my 
twenty-first si)eculation. L. 

[Spectator No. 109. Thursday, July 5, 1711. Steele.] 

Abnormis sapiens.^ 

— ^Horace. 

I was this morning walking in the gallery, when Sir 
Eoger entered at the end opposite to me, and, advancing 

* "Of plain good sense, untutored in the schools." 


toward me, said he was glad to meet me among his rela- 
tions the de Coverleys, and hoped I liked the conversation 
of so much good company, who were as silent as myself. 
I know he alluded to the pictures; and, as he is a gen- 
tleman who does not a liftle value himself upon his an- 
cient descent, I expected he would give me some account 
of them. We were now arrived at the upper end of the 
gallery, when the knight faced toward one of the pictures 
and, as we stood before it, he entered into the matter, 
after his blunt way of saying things as they occur to his 
imagination, without regular introduction or care to pre- 
serve the appearance of chain of thought. 

"It is," said he, "worth while to consider the force of 
dress, and how the persons of one age differ from those 
of another merely by that only. One may observe, also, 
that the general fashion of one age has been followed by 
one particular set of people in another, and by them 
preserved from one generation to another. Thus, the vast 
jetting coat and small bonnet, which was the habit in 
Harry the Seventh's time, is kept on in the yeomen of 
the guard; not without a good and politic view, because 
they look a foot taller and a foot and a half broader; 
besides that the cap leaves the face expanded, and conse- 
quently more terrible and fitter to stand at the entrance 
of palaces. 

"This predecessor of ours, you see, is dressed after this 
manner, and his cheeks would be no larger than mine, 
were he in a hat as I am. He was the last man that won 
a prize in the Tilt Yard, which is now a common street 
before Whitehall. You see the broken lance that lies 
there by his right foot: he shivered that lance of his ad- 
versary all to pieces; and, bearing himself, look you, sir, 
in this manner, at the same time he came within the 
target of the gentleman who rode against him, and taking 
him with incredible force before him on the pommel of 
his saddle, he in that manner rid the tournament over, 
with an air that showed he did it rather to perform the 
rule of the lists than expose his enemy; however, it ap- 


peared he knew how to make use of a victory, and, with 
a gentle trot, he marched up to a gallery where their mis- 
tress sat, for they were rivals, and let him down with 
laudable courtesy and pardonable insolence. I don't know 
but it might be exactly where the coffee-house is now. 

"You are to know this my ancestor was not only of a 
military genius but fit also for the arts of peace, for he 
played on the bass-viol as well as any gentleman at court ; 
you see where his viol hangs by his basket-hilt sword. 
The action of the Tilt Yard you may be sure won the 
fair lady, who was a maid of honor and the greatest 
beauty of her time; here she stands, the next picture. 
You see, sir, my great-great-great-grandmother has on the 
new-fashioned petticoat, except that the modern is gath- 
ered at the waist ; my grandmother appears as if she stood 
in a large drum, whereas the ladies now walk as if they 
were in a go-cart. For all this lady was bred at court, 
she became an excellent country wife; she brought ten 
children, and, when I show you the library, you shall see, 
in her own hand (allowing for the difference of the lan- 
guage), the best receipt now in England both for an 
hasty-pudding and a white-pot. 

"If you please to fall back a little, because 'tis neces- 
sary to look at the three next pictures at one view, these 
are three sisters. She on the right hand, who is so very 
beautiful, died a maid; the next to her, still handsomer, 
had the same fate against her will; this homely thing in 
the middle had both their portions added to her own, and 
was stolen by a neighboring gentleman, a man of strata- 
gem and resolution, for he poisoned three mastiffs to come 
at her, and knocked down two deer-stealers in carrying 
her off. Misfortunes happen in all families. The theft 
of this romp and so much money was no great matter to 
our estate. But the next heir that possessed it was this 
soft gentleman, whom you see there; observe the small 
buttons, the little boots, the laces, the slashes about his 
clothes, and above all, the posture he is drawn in (which 
to be sure was his own choosing) ; you see he sits with 


one hand on a desk, writing and looking as it were an- 
other way, like an easy writer or a sonneteer. He was 
one of those that had too much wit to know how to live 
in the world; he was a man of no justice but great good 
manners; he ruined everybody that had anything to do 
with him, but never said a rude thing in his life; the 
most indolent person in the world, he would sign a deed 
that passed away half his estate, with his gloves on, but 
would not put on his hat before a lady if it were to save 
his country. He is said to be the first that made love by 
squeezing the hand. He left the estate with ten thousand 
pounds' debt upon it; but, however, by all hands I have 
been informed that he was every way the finest gentleman 
in the world. That debt lay heavy on our house for one 
generation; but it was retrieved by a gift from that hon- 
est man you see there, a citizen of our name but noth- 
ing at all akin to us. I know Sir Andrew Ereeport has 
said behind my back that this man was descended from 
one of the ten children of the maid of honor I showed 
you above; but it was never made out. We winked at 
the thing, indeed, because money was wanting at that 

Here I saw my friend a little embarrassed, and turned 
my face to the next portraiture. 

Sir Eoger went on with his account of the gallery in 
the following manner: "This man" (pointing to him I 
looked at) "I take to be the honor of our house, Sir 
Humphrey de Coverley; he was, in his dealings, as punc- 
tual as a tradesman and as generous as a gentleman. He 
would have thought himself as much undone by breaking 
his word as if it were to be followed by bankruptcy. He 
served his country as knight of this shire to his dying 
day. He found it no easy matter to maintain an integ- 
rity in his words and actions, even in things that re- 
garded the offices which were incumbent upon him, in 
the care of his own affairs and relations of life, and there- 
fore dreaded, though he had great talents, to go into em- 
ployments of state, where he must be exposed to the 


snares of ambition. Innocence of life and great ability 
were the distinguishing parts of his character; the latter, 
he had often observed, had led to the destruction of the 
former, and used frequently to lament that great and good 
had not the same signification. He was an excellent hus- 
bandman, but had resolved not to exceed such a degree 
of wealth; all above it he bestowed in secret bounties 
many years after the sum he aimed at for his own use 
was attained. Yet he did not slacken his industry, but 
to a decent old age spent the life and fortune which was 
superfluous to himself in the service of his friends and 

Here we were called to dinner, and Sir Roger ended 
the discourse of this gentleman by telling me, as we fol- 
lowed the servant, that this his ancestor was a brave man, 
and narrowly escaped being killed in the Civil Wars; 
'^for,^' said he, ^*he was sent out of the field upon a pri- 
vate message the day before the battle of Worcester." 

The whim of narrowly escaping by having been within 
a day of danger, with other matters above mentioned, 
mixed with good sense, left me at a loss whether I was 
more delighted with my friend's wisdom or simplicity. 


[Spectator No. 110. Friday, July 6, 1711. Addison.] 

Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent.* 

— ^Vebgil. 

At a little distance from Sir Roger's house, among the 
ruins of an old abbey, there is a long walk of aged elms, 
which are shot up so very high that, when one passes 
under them, the rooks and crows that rest upon the tops 
of them seem to be cawing in another region. I am very 
much delighted with this sort of noise, which I consider 
as a kind of natural prayer to that Being who supplies 
the wants of His whole creation, and who, in the beauti- 

* "All things are full of horror and affright, 

And dreadful ev'n the silence of the night." — Drtdbn. 


f ul lan^age of the Psalms, f eedeth the young ravens that 
call upon Him. I like this retirement the better, be- 
cause of an ill report it lies under of being haunted; for 
which reason, as I have been told in the family, no living 
creature ever walks in it besides the chaplain. My good 
friend the butler desired me, with a very grave face, not 
to venture myself in it after sunset, for that one of the 
footmen had been almost frighted out of his wits by a 
spirit that appeared to him in the shape of a black horse 
without an head; to which he added, that about a month 
ago one of the maids coming home late that way, with a 
pail of milk upon her head, heard such a rustling among 
the bushes that she let it fall. 

I was taking a walk in this place last night, between 
the hours of nine and ten, and could not but fancy it one 
of the most proper scenes in the world for a ghost to ap- 
pear in. The ruins of the abbey are scattered up and 
down on every side, and half covered with ivy and elder- 
bushes, the harbors of several solitary birds, which seldom 
make their appearance till the dusk of the evening. The 
place was formerly a churchyard, and has still several 
marks in it of graves and burying-places. There is such 
an echo among the old ruins and vaults that, if you stamp 
but a little louder than ordinary, you hear the sound re- 
peated. At the same time the walk of elms, with the 
croaking of the ravens, which from time to time are 
heard from the tops of them, looks exceeding solemn and 
venerable. These objects naturally raise seriousness and 
attention; and when night heightens the awfulness of the 
place and pours out her supernumerary horrors upon 
everything in it, I do not at all wonder that weak minds 
fill it with specters and apparitions. 

Mr. Locke, in his chapter on the Association of Ideas, 
has very curious remarks to show how, by the prejudice 
of education, one idea often introduces into the mind a 
whole set that bear no resemblance to one another in the 
nature of things. Among several examples of this kind, 
he produces the following instance: "The ideas of gob- 


lins and sprites have really no more to do with dark- 
ness than light ; yet, let but a foolish maid inculcate these 
often on the mind of a child and raise them there together, 
possibly he shall never be able to separate them again so 
long as he lives, but darkness shall ever afterward bring 
with it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined 
that he can no more bear the one than the other." 

As I was walking in the solitude, where the dusk of 
the evening conspired with so many other occasions of 
terror, I observed a cow grazing not far from me, which 
an imagination that is apt to startle might easily have 
construed into a black horse without an head; and I dare 
say the poor footman lost his wits upon some such trivial 

My friend Sir Roger has often told me, with a great 
deal of mirth, that at his first coming to his estate, he 
found three parts of his house altogether useless; that 
the best room in it had the reputation of being haunted, 
and by that means was locked up; that noises had been 
heard in his long gallery, so that he could not get a serv- 
ant to enter it after eight o'clock at night; that the door 
of one of his chambers was nailed up, because there went 
a story in the family that a butler had formerly hanged 
himself in it; and that his mother, who lived to a great 
age, had shut up half the rooms in the house, in which 
either her husband, a son, or daughter had died. The 
knight, seeing his habitation reduced to so small a com- 
pass, and himself in a manner shut out of his own house, 
upon the death of his mother ordered all the apartments 
to be flung open and exorcised by his chaplain, who lay 
in every room one after another, and by that means dis- 
sipated the fears which had so long reigned in the family. 

I should not have been thus particular upon these ridic- 
ulous horrors, did not I find them so very much prevail 
in all parts of the country. At the same time, I think 
a person who is thus terrified with the imagination of 
ghosts and specters much more reasonable than one who, 
contrary to the reports of all historians, sacred and pro- 


fane, ancient and modern, and to the traditions of all 
nations, thinks the appearance of spirits fabulous and 
groundless. Could not I give myself up to this general 
testimony of mankind, I should to the relations of par- 
ticular persons who are now living and whom I cannot 
distrust in other matters of fact. I might here add, that 
not only the historians, to whom we may join the poets, 
but likewise the philosophers of antiquity have favored 
this opinion. Lucretius himself, though by the course of 
his philosophy he was obliged to maintain that the soul 
did not exist separate from the body, makes no doubt of 
the reality of apparitions, and that men have often ap- 
peared after their death. This I think very remarkable; 
he was so pressed with the matter of fact which he could 
not have the confidence to deny, that he was forced to 
account for it by one of the most absurd unphilosophical 
notions that was ever started. He tells us that the sur- 
faces of all bodies are perpetually flying off from their 
respective bodies one after another, and that these sur- 
faces or thin cases that included each other, whilst they 
were joined in the body, like the coats of an onion, are 
sometimes seen entire when they are separated from it; 
by which means we often behold the shapes and shadows 
of persons who are either dead or absent. 

I shall dismiss this paper with a story out of Josephus, 
not so much for the sake of the story itseK as for the 
moral reflections with which the author concludes it, and 
which I shall here set down in his own words : — 

^'Glaphyra, the daughter of King Archelaus, after the 
death of her two first husbands (being married to a third, 
who was brother to her first husband, and so passionately 
in love with her that he turned off his former wife to 
make room for this marriage) had a very odd kind of 
dream. She fancied that she saw her first husband com- 
ing toward her, and that she embraced him with great 
tenderness; when in the midst of the pleasure which she 
expressed at the sight of him, he reproached her after 
the* following manner: — 


" ^Glaphyra/ says he, Hhou hast made good the old say- 
ing that women are not to be trusted. Was not I the 
husband of thy virginity? Have I not children by thee? 
How couldst thou forget our loves so far as to enter into 
a second marriage, and after that into a third ? . . . How- 
ever, for the sake of our past loves I shall free thee from 
thy present reproach, and make thee mine forever/ 

"Glaphyra told this dream to several women of her ac- 
quaintance, and died soon after. 

"I thought this story might not be impertinent in this 
place wherein I speak of those kings. Besides that, the 
example deserves to be taken notice of, as it contains 
a most certain proof of the immortality of the soul, and 
of divine providence. If any man thinks these facts in- 
credible, let him enjoy his own opinion to himself, but 
let him not endeavor to disturb the belief of others, who 
by instances of this nature are excited to the study of 
virtue." L. 

[Spectator No. 112. Monday, July 9, 1711. Addison.] 

*A$av6.T0vs nlv irpwra 0eovs, v6/Mi^ cbs dtdicctrai, 

— ^Pythagoras. 

I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, 
and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were only a 
human institution, it would be the best method that could 
have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of 
mankind. It is certain the country people would soon 
degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians were 
there not such frequent returns of a stated time, in which 
the whole village meet together with their best faces, 
and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one an- 
other upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained 
to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme 
Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, 

» "First in obedience to thy country's ritea 
Worship the immortal gods/* 


not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of re- 
ligion, but as it puts both the sexes upon appearing in 
their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities 
as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. 
A country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the 
churchyard as a citizen does upon the 'Change, the whole 
parish politics being generally discussed in that place 
either after sermon or before the bell rings. 

My friend Sir Roger, being a good churchman, has 
beautified the inside of his church with several texts of 
his own choosing; he has likewise given a handsome pul- 
pit-cloth, and railed in the communion-table at his own 
expense. He has often told me that, at his coming to his 
estate, he found his parishioners very irregular; and that, 
in order to make them kneel and join in the responses, 
he gave every one of them a hassock and a common- 
prayer-book, and at the same time employed an itinerant 
singing-master, who goes about the country for that pur- 
pose, to instruct them rightly in the tunes of the Psalms ; 
upon which they now very much value themselves, and 
indeed outdo most of the country churches that I have 
ever heard. 

As Sir Eoger is landlord to the whole congregation, 
he keeps them in very good order, and will suffer nobody 
to sleep in it besides himself; for, if by chance he has 
been surprised into a short nap at sermon, upon recover- 
ing out of it he stands up and looks about him, and, if 
he sees anybody else nodding, either wakes them himself, 
or sends his servant to them. Several other of the old 
knight's particularities break out upon these occasions; 
sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the Sing- 
ing-Psalms half a minute after the rest of the congrega- 
tion have done with it ; sometimes, when he is pleased with 
the matter of his devotion, he pronounces "Amen" three 
or four times to the same prayer; and sometimes stands 
up when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the 
congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing. 

I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my old 


friend, in the midst of the service, calling out to one 
John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not dis- 
turb the congregation. This John Matthews, it seems, 
is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time 
was kicking his heels for his diversion. This authority 
of the knight, though exerted in that odd manner which 
accompanies him in all circumstances of life, has a very- 
good effect upon the parish, who are not polite enough to 
see anything ridiculous in his behavior; besides that the 
general good sense and worthiness of his character makes 
his friends observe these little singularities as foils that 
rather set off than blemish his good qualities. 

As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes to 
stir till Sir Eoger is gone out of the church. The knight 
walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double 
row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each 
side, and every now and then inquires how such an one's 
wife, or mother, or son, or father do, whom he does not 
see at church, — ^which is understood as a secret reprimand 
to the person that is absent. 

The chaplain has often told me that, upon a catechizing 
day, when Sir Eoger had been pleased with a boy that 
answers well, he has ordered a Bible to be given him next 
day for his encouragement, and sometimes accompanies 
it with a flitch of bacon to his mother. Sir Eoger has 
likewise added five pounds a year to the clerk's place; 
and, that he may encourage the young fellows to make 
themselves perfect in the church service, has promised, 
upon the death of the present incumbent, who is very old, 
to bestow it according to merit. 

The fair understanding between Sir Eoger and his 
chaplain, and their mutual concurrence in doing good, is 
the more remarkable because the very next village is fa- 
mous for the differences and contentions that rise between 
the parson and the squire, who live in a perpetual state 
of war. The parson is always preaching at the squire, 
and the squire, to be revenged on the parson, never comes 
to church. The squire has made all his tenants atheists 


and tithe-stealers ; while the parson instructs them every 
Sunday in the dignity of his order, and insinuates to them 
in almost every sermon that he is a better man than his 
patron. In short, matters are come to such an extremity 
that the squire has not said his prayers either in public 
or private this half year; and that the parson threatens 
him, if he does not mend his manners, to pray for him in 
the face of the whole congregation. 

Feuds of this nature, though too frequent in the coun- 
try, are very fatal to the ordinary people, who are so 
used to be dazzled with riches that they pay as much def- 
erence to the understanding of a man of an estate as of 
a man of learning; and are very hardly brought to regard 
any truth, how important soever it may be, that is 
preached to them, when they know there are several men 
of five hundred a year who do not believe it. L. 

[Spectator No. 113. Tuesday, July 10, 1711. Steele.] 

Haerent infixi pectore vultus.* 

— ^Vebqil. 

In my first description of the company in which I pass 
most of my time, it may be remembered that I men- 
tioned a great affliction which my friend Sir Eoger had 
met with in his youth: which was no less than a disap- 
pointment in love. It happened this evening that we fell 
into a very pleasing walk at a distance from his house. 
As soon as we came into it, "It is," quoth the good old 
man, looking round him with a smile, "very hard that 
any part of my land should be settled upon one who has 
used me so ill as the perverse widow did; and yet I am 
sure I could not see a sprig of any bough of this whole 
walk of trees but I should reflect upon her and her sever- 
ity. She has certainly the finest hand of any woman in 
the world. You are to know this was the place wherein 
I used to muse upon her; and by that custom I can never 

» "Her looks were deep Imprinted in his heart." 


come into it but the same tender sentiments revive in my 
mind, as if I had actually walked with that beautiful 
creature under these shades. I have been fool enough to 
carve her name on the bark of several of these trees; so 
unhappy is the condition of men in love to attempt the 
removing of their passion by the methods which serve 
pnly to imprint it deeper. She has certainly the finest 
hand of any woman in the world.'' 

Here followed a profound silence; and I was not dis- 
pleased to observe my friend falling so naturally into a 
discourse which I had ever before taken notice he indus- 
triously avoided. After a very long pause he entered 
upon an account of this great circumstance in his life, 
with an air which I thought raised my idea of him above 
what I had ever had before; and gave me the picture of 
that cheerful mind of his before it received that stroke 
which has ever since affected his words and actions. But 
he went on as follows : — 

"I came to my estate in my twenty-second year, and 
resolved to follow the steps of the most worthy of my 
ancestors who have inhabited this spot of earth before me, 
in all the methods of hospitality and good neighborhood, 
for the sake of my fame, and in country sports and rec- 
reations, for the sake of my health. In my twenty-third 
year I was obliged to serve as sheriff of the county; and 
in my servants, officers, and whole equipage, indulged the 
pleasure of a young man, who did not think ill of his own 
person, in taking that public occasion of showing my fig- 
ure and behavior to advantage. You may easily imagine 
to yourself what appearance I made, who am pretty tall, 
rid well, and was very well dressed, at the head of a whole 
county, with music before me, a feather in my hat, and 
my horse well bitted. I can assure you I was not a little 
pleased with the kind looks and glances I had from all 
the balconies and windows, as I rode to the hall where 
the assizes were held. But when I came there, a beau- 
tiful creature in a widow's habit sat in court to hear the 
event of a cause concerning her dower. This commanding 


creature, who was born for destruction of all who behold 
her, put on such a resignation in her countenance, and 
bore the whispers of all around the court with such pretty 
uneasiness, I warrant you, and then recovered herself 
from one eye to another, till she was perfectly confused 
by meeting something so wistful in all she encountered, 
that at last, with a murrain to her, she cast her bewitching 
eye upon me. I no sooner met it but I bowed like a 
great surprised booby; and, knowing her cause to be the 
first which came on, I cried, like a captivated calf as I 
was, 'Make way for the defendant's witnesses.' This sud- 
den partiality made all the county immediately see the 
sheriff also was become a slave to the fine widow. Dur- 
ing the time her cause was upon trial, she behaved her- 
self, I warrant you, with such a deep attention to her 
business, took opportunities to have little billets handed 
to her counsel, then would be in such a pretty confusion, 
occasioned, you must know, by acting before so much com- 
pany, that not only I but the whole court was prejudiced 
in her favor; and all that the next heir to her husband 
had to urge was thought so groundless and frivolous that, 
when it came to her counsel to reply, there was not half 
so much said as every one besides in the court thought 
he could have urged to her advantage. You must under- 
stand, sir, this perverse woman is one of those unaccount- 
able creatures that secretly rejoice in the admiration of 
men, but indulge themselves in no further consequences. 
Hence it is that she has ever had a train of admirers, and 
she removes from her slaves in town to those in the coun- 
try according to the seasons of the year. She is a read- 
ing lady, and far gone in the pleasures of friendship; she 
is always accompanied by a confidante, who is witness to 
her daily protestations against our sex, and consequently 
a bar to her first steps toward love, upon the strength of 
her own maxims and declarations. 

"However, I must needs say this accomplished mistress 
of mine has distinguished me above the rest, and has been 
known to declare Sir Roger de Coverley was the tamest 


and most human of all the brutes in the country. I was 
told she said so by one who thought he rallied me; but, 
upon the strength of this slender encouragement of being 
thought least detestable, I made new liveries, new-paired 
my coach-horses, sent them all to town to be bitted and 
taught to throw their legs well and move all together, be- 
fore I pretended to cross the country and wait upon her. 
As soon as I thought my retinue suitable to the charac- 
ter of my fortune and youth, I set out from hence to 
make my addressee. The particular skill of this lady has 
ever been to inflame your wishes and yet command re- 
specto To make her mistress of this art, she has a greater 
share of knowledge, wit, and good sense than is usual 
even among men of merit. Then she is beautiful be- 
yond the race of women. If you won't let her go on with 
a certain artifice with her eyes and the skiU of beauty, 
she will arm herself with her real charms, and strike you 
with admiration. It is certain that, if you were to be- 
hold the whole woman, there is that dignity in her as- 
pect, that composure in her motion, that complacency in 
her manner, that if her form makes you hope, her merit 
makes you fear. But then again, she is such a desperate 
scholar that no country gentleman can approach her with- 
out being a jest. As I was going to tell you, when I came 
to her house I was admitted to her presence with great 
civility; at the same time she placed herself to be first 
seen by me in such an attitude, as I think you call the 
posture of a picture, that she discovered new charms, and 
I at last came toward her with such an awe as made me 
speechless. This she no sooner observed but she made 
her advantage of it, and began a discourse to me con- 
cerning love and honor, as they both are followed by pre- 
tenders and the real votaries to them. When she had dis- 
cussed these points in a discourse which I verily believe 
was as learned as the best philosopher in Europe could 
possibly make, she asked me whether she was so happy as 
to fall in with my sentiments on these important par- 
ticulars. Her confidante sat by her, and, upon my being 


in the last confusion and silence, this malicious aid of 
hers, turning to her, says, ^I am very glad to observe Sir 
Roger pauses upon this subject, and seems resolved to de- 
liver all his sentiments upon the matter when he pleases 
to speak/ They both kept their countenances, and after 
I had sat half an hour meditating how to behave before 
such profound casuists, I rose up and took my leave. 
Chance has since that time thrown me very often in her 
way, and she as often has directed a discourse to me which 
I do not understand. This barbarity has kept me ever 
at a distance from the most beautiful object my eyes ever 
beheld. It is thus also she deals with all mankind, and 
you must make love to her, as you would conquer the 
Sphinx, by posing her. But were she like other women, 
and that there were any talking to her, how constant must 
the pleasure of that man be who could converse with a 
creature — But, after all, you may be sure her heart is 
fixed on some one or other; and yet I have been credibly 
informed — ^but who can believe half that is said? After 
she had done speaking to me, she put her hand to her 
bosom and adjusted her tucker. Then she cast her eyes 
a little down, upon my beholding her too earnestly. They 
say she sings excellently ; her voice in her ordinary speech 
has something in it inexpressibly sweet. You must know 
I dined with her at a public table the day after I first 
saw her, and she helped me to some tansy in the eye of 
all the gentlemen in the country: she has certainly the 
finest hand of any woman in the world. I can assure you, 
sir, were you to behold her, you would be in the same 
condition; for as her speech is music, her form is angelic. 
But I find I grow irregular while I am talking of her; 
but indeed it would be stupidity to be unconcerned at 
such perfection. Oh, the excellent creature! she is as 
inimitable to all women as she is inaccessible to all men." 
I found my friend begin to rave, and insensibly led 
him toward the house, that we might be joined by some 
other company; and am convinced that the widow is the 
secret cause of all that inconsistency which appears in 


some parts of my friend's discourse; though he has so 
much command of himself as not directly to mention her, 
yet according to that passage of Martial, which one knows 
not how to render in English, ''Dvrni tacet hanc loquitur/^ 
I shall end this paper with that whole epigram, which rep- 
resents with much himior my honest friend's condition: 

"Quicquid agit Rufus, nihil est nisi Naevia Rufo; 
Si gaudet, si flet, si tacet, hanc loquitur: 
Cenat, propinat, poscit, negat, annuit — ^una est 
Nsevia; si non sit Naevia, mustus erit. 
Scriberet hesterna patri cum luce salutem, 
'N'eevia lux,' inquit, T^aevia lumen, ave.' '* 

"Let Rufus weep, rejoice, stand, sit, or walk, 
Still he can nothing but of Naevia talk; 
Let him eat, drink, ask questions, or dispute, 
Still he must speak of Naevia, or be mute; 
He writ to his father, ending with this line,— 
'I am, my lovely Naevia, ever thine.' " R. 

[Spectator No. 114. Wednesday, July 11, 1711. 

— ^Paupertatis pudor et fuga— -.* 

— ^Horace. 

Economy in our affairs has the same effect upon our 
fortunes which good breeding has upon our conversations. 
There is a pretending behavior in both cases, which, in- 
stead of making men esteemed, renders them both miser- 
able and contemptible. We had yesterday at Sir Roger's 
a set of country gentlemen who dined with him ; and after 
dinner the glass was taken, by those who pleased, pretty 
plentifully. Among others, I observed a person of a tol- 
erable good aspect, who seemed to be more greedy of 
liquor than any of the company, and yet, methought, he 
did not taste it with delight. As he grew warm, he was 
suspicious of everything that was said; and as he ad- 

* — "The dread of nothing more 
Than to be thought necessitous and poor." 


vanced toward being fuddled, his humor grew worse. At 
the same time his bitterness seemed to be rather an in- 
ward dissatisfaction in his own mind than any dislike 
he had taken at the company. Upon hearing his name, 
I knew him to be a gentleman of a considerable fortune 
in this county, but greatly in debt. What gives the un- 
happy man this peevishness of spirit is, that his estate is 
dipped, and is eating out with usury ; and yet he has not 
the heart to sell any part of it. His proud stomach, at 
the cost of restless nights, constant inquietudes, danger 
of affronts, and a thousand nameless inconveniences, pre- 
serves this canker in his fortune, rather than it shall be 
said he is a man of fewer hundreds a year than he has 
been commonly reputed. Thus he endures the t jrment of 
poverty, to avoid the name of being less rich. If you go 
to his house you see great plenty, but served in a manner 
that shows it is all unnatural, and that the master's mind 
is not at home. There is a certain waste and careless- 
ness in the air of everything, and the whole appears but 
a covered indigence, a magnificent poverty. That neat- 
ness and cheerfulness which attends the table of him who 
lives within compass, is wanting, and exchanged for a 
libertine way of service in all about him. 

This gentleman's conduct, though a very common way 
of management, is as ridiculous as that officer's would be 
who had but few men under his command, and should 
take the charge of an extent of country rather than of a 
small pass. To pay for, personate, and keep in a man's 
hands a greater estate than he really has, is of all others 
the most unpardonable vanity, and must in the end re- 
duce the man who is guilty of it to dishonor. Yet, if we 
look round us in any county of Great Britain, we shall 
see many in this fatal error— if that may be called by so 
soft a name which proceeds from a false shame of ap- 
pearing what they really are — ^when the contrary behavior 
would in a short time advance them to the condition which 
they pretend to. 

Laertes has fifteen hundred pounds a year, which is 


mortgaged for six thousand pounds; but it is impossible 
to convince him that if he sold as much as would pay off 
that debt he would save four shillings in the pound, which 
he gives for the vanity of being the reputed master of it 
Yet, if Laertes did this, he would perhaps be easier in 
his own fortune; but then, Irus, a fellow of yesterday, 
who has but twelve hundred a year, would be his equaL 
Rather than this shall be, Laertes goes on to bring well« 
born beggars into the world, and every twelvemonth 
charges his estate with at least one year's rent more by 
the birth of a child. 

Laertes and Irus are neighbors, whose way of living 
are an abomination to each other. Irus is moved by the 
fear of poverty, and Laertes by the shame of it. Though 
the motive of action is of so near affinity in both, and 
may be .resolved into this, "That to each of them poverty 
is the greatest of all evils,'' yet are their manners very 
widely different. Shame of poverty makes Laertes launch 
into unnecessary equipage, vain expense, and lavish en- 
tertainments; fear of poverty makes Irus allow himself 
only plain necessaries, appear without a servant, sell his 
own corn, attend his laborers, and be himself a laborer. 
Shame of poverty makes Laertes go every day a step 
nearer to it, and fear of poverty stirs up Irus to make 
every day some further progress from it. 

These different motives produce the excesses which men 
are guilty of in the negligence of and provision for them- 
selves. Usury, stock-jobbing, extortion, and oppression 
have their seed in the dread of want; and vanity, riot, 
and prodigality, from the shame of it; but both these ex- 
cesses are infinitely below the pursuit of a reasonable 
creature. After we have taken care to command so much 
as is necessary for maintaining ourselves in the order of 
men suitable to our character, the care of superfluities is 
a vice no less extravagant than the neglect of necessaries 
would have been before. 

Certain it is that they are both out of nature when she 
is followed with reason and good sense. It is from this 


reflection that I always read Mr. Cowley with the great- 
est pleasure. His magnanimity is as much above that 
of other considerable men as his understanding; and it 
is a true distinguishing spirit in the elegant author who 
published his works, to dwell so much upon the temper 
of his mind and the moderation of his desires. By this 
means he has rendered his friend as amiable as famous. 
That state of life which bears the face of poverty with 
Mr. Cowley's "great vulgar," is admirably described; and 
it is no small satisfaction to those of the same turn of 
desire, that he produces the authority of the wisest men 
of the best age of the world to strengthen his opinion of 
the ordinary pursuits of mankind. 

It would, methinks, be no ill maxim of life if, accord- 
ing to that ancestor of Sir Roger whom I lately mentioned, 
every man would point to himself what sum he would 
resolve not to exceed. He might by this means cheat him- 
self into a tranquillity on this side of that expectation, or 
convert what he should get above it to nobler uses than 
his own pleasures or necessities. 

This temper of mind would exempt a man from an ig- 
norant envy of restless men above him, and a more inex- 
cusable contempt of happy men below him. This would 
be sailing by some compass, living with some design; 
but to be eternally bewildered in prospects of future gain, 
and putting on unnecessary armor against improbable 
blows of fortune, is a mechanic being which has not 
good sense for its direction, but is carried on by a sort of 
acquired instinct toward things below our consideration 
and unworthy our esteem. 

It is possible that the tranquillity I now enjoy at Sir 
Roger's may have created in me this way of thinking, 
which is so abstracted from the common relish of the 
world; but, as I am now in a pleasing arbor, surrounded 
with a beautiful landscape, I find no inclination so strong 
as to continue in these mansions, so remote from the os- 
tentatious scenes of life; and am, at this present writing, 
philosopher enough to conclude, with Mr. Cowley : 


"If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat, 
With any wish so mean as to be great, 
Continue, Heaven, still from me to remove 
The humble blessings of that life I love!" T. 

[Spectator No. 115. Thursday, July 12, 1711. 

Ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.* 


Bodily labor is of two kinds: either that which a man 
submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes 
for his pleasure. The latter of them generally changes the 
name of labor for that of exercise, but differs only from 
ordinary labor as it rises from another motive. 

A country life abounds in both these kinds of labor, 
and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of health, 
and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself, 
than any other way of life. I consider the body as a 
system of tubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic 
phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one an- 
other after so wonderful a manner as to make a proper 
engine for the soul to work with, This description does 
not only comprehend the bones, tendons, veins, nerves, 
and arteries, but every muscle and every ligature, which 
is a composition of fibers that are so many imperceptible 
tubes or pipes, interwoven on all sides with invisible 
glands or strainers. 

This general idea of a human body, without considering 
it in its niceties of anatomy, lets us see how absolutely 
necessary labor is for the right preservation of it. There 
must be frequent motions and agitations, to mix, digest, 
and separate the juices contained in it, as well as to 
clear and cleanse that infinitude of pipes and strainers 
of which it is composed, and to give their solid parts a 
more firm and lasting tone. Labor or exercise ferments 
the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws 
off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distri- 

' "Pray for a sound mind in a sound body." 


butions without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, 
nor the soul act with cheerfulness. 

I might here mention the effects which this has upon 
all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understand- 
ing clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those 
spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our 
intellectual faculties, during the present laws of union 
between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this par- 
ticular that we must ascribe the spleen which is so fre- 
quent in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well 
as the vapors to which those of the other sex are so often 

Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our well- 
being, nature would not have made the body so proper 
for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs and such 
a pliancy to every part as necessarily produce those com- 
pressionSp extensions, contortions, dilatations, and all 
other kinds of motions that are necessary for the pres- 
ervation of such a system of tubes and glands as has been 
before mentioned. And that we might not want induce- 
ments to engage us in such an exercise of the body as is 
proper for its welfare, it is so ordered that nothing valu- 
able can be procured without it. Not to mention riches 
and honor, even food and raiment are not to be come 
at without the toil of the hands and sweat of the brows. 
Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we 
should work them up ourselves. The earth must be la- 
bored it gives its increase; and when it is forced 
into its several products, how many hands must they pass 
through before they are fit for use! Manufactures, trade, 
and agriculture naturally employ more than nineteen 
parts of the species in twenty; and as for those who are 
not obliged to labor, by the condition in which they are 
born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind 
unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labor 
which goes by the name of exercise. 

My friend Sir Eoger has been an indefatigable man in 
business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his 


house with the trophies of his former labors. The walls 
of his great hall are covered with the horns of several 
kinds of deer that he has killed in the chase, which he 
thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they 
afford him frequent topics of discourse, and show that he 
has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall is a large 
otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered 
to be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks upon 
with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine 
years old when his dog killed himo A little room ad- 
joining to the hall is a kind of arsenal filled with guns 
of several sizes and inventions, with which the knight 
has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many 
thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His 
stable doors are patched with noses that belonged to foxes 
of the nighf s own hunting dowHo Sir Roger showed me 
one of them that for distinction sake has a brass nail 
struck through it, which cost him fifteen hours' riding, 
carried him through half a dozen counties, killed him a 
brace of geldings, and lost above half his dogSo This the 
knight looks upon as one of the greatest exploits of his 
life. The perverse widow, whom I have given some ac- 
count of, was the death of several foxes; for Sir Eoger 
has told me that in the course of his amours he patched 
the western door of his stable. Whenever the widow was 
cruel, the foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion 
as his passion for the widow abated, and old age came on, 
he left off fox-hunting; but a hare is not yet safe that 
sits within ten miles of his house. 

There is no kind of exercise which I would so recom- 
mend to my readers of both sexes as this of riding, as 
there is none which so much conduces to health, and is 
every way accommodated to the body, according to the 
idea which I have given of it. Dr. Sydenham is very lav- 
ish in its praises; and if the English reader will see the 
mechanical effects of it described at length, he may find 
them in a book published not many years since, under the 
title of the Medicina Gymnastica, 


Eor my own part, wlien I am in town, for want of these 
opportunities, I exercise myself an hour every morning 
upon a dumb bell that is placed in a comer of my room, 
and pleases me the more because it does everything I re- 
quire of it in the most profound silence. My landlady 
and her daughters are so well acquainted with my hours 
of exercise that they never come into my room to disturb 
me whilst I am ringing. 

When I was some years younger than I am at present, 
I used to employ myseK in a more laborious diversion, 
which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises that 
is written with great erudition. It is there called the 
cKLOfjtaxiay or the fighting with a man's own shadow, 
and consists in the brandishing of two short sticks 
grasped in each hand, and loaded with plugs of lead at 
either end. This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and 
gives a man all the pleasure of boxing, without the blows. 
I could wish tEat several learned men would lay out that 
time which they employ in controversies and disputes 
about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own 
shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the 
spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well 
as to themselves. 

To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and body, I 
consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties, 
and I think I have not fulfilled the business of the day 
when I do not thus employ the one in labor and exer- 
cise, as well as the other in study and contemplation. 


[Spectator No. 116. FRroAY, July 13, 1711. Addison.] 

^Vocat ingenti clamore Cithaeron, 

Taygetique canes .* 

— Vkbgil. 

Those who have searched into human nature, observe 
that nothing so much shows the nobleness of the soul as 

i««The echoing hills and chiding hounds invite." 


that its felicity consists in action. Every man has such 
an active principle in him that he will find out something 
to employ himself upon, in whatever place or state of life 
he is posted. I have heard of a gentleman who was under 
close confinement in the Bastile seven years ; during which 
time he amused himself in scattering a few small pins 
about his chamber, gathering them up again, and plac- 
ing them in different figures on the arm of a great chair. 
He often told his friends afterward, that unless he had 
found out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he 
should have lost his senses. 

After what has been said, I need not inform my readers 
that Sir Eoger, with whose character I hope they are at 
present pretty well acquainted, has in his youth gone 
through the whole course of those rural diversions which 
the country abounds in, and which seem to be extremely 
well suited to that laborious industry a man may ob- 
serve here in a far greater degree than in towns and 
cities. I have before hinted at some of my friend's ex- 
ploits: he has in his youthful days taken forty coveys 
of partridges in a season, and tired many a salmon with 
a line consisting but of a single hair. The constant 
thanks and good wishes of the neighborhood always at- 
tended him on account of his remarkable enmity toward 
foxes, having destroyed more of those vermin in one year 
than it was thought the whole country could have pro- 
duced. Indeed, the knight does not scruple to own, 
among his most intimate friends, that in order to estab- 
lish his reputation this way, he has secretly sent for great 
numbers of them out of other counties, which he used to 
turn loose about the country at night, that he might 
the better signalize himself in their destruction the next 
day. His hunting horses were the finest and best man- 
aged in all these parts: his tenants are still full of the 
praises of a gray stone-horse that unhappily staked him- 
self several years since, and was buried with great so- 
lemnity in the orchard. 

Sir Roger, being at present too old for fox-hunting, 


to keep himself in action has disposed of his beagles and 
got a pack of stop-hounds. What these want in speed 
he endeavors to make amends for by the deepness of their 
mouths and the variety of their notes, which are suited 
in such manner to each other that the whole cry makes 
up a complete concert. He is so nice in this particular 
that a gentleman having made him a present of a very 
fine hound the other day, the knight returned it by the 
servant with a great many expressions of civility, but de- 
sired him to tell his master that the dog he had sent was 
indeed a most excellent bass, but that at present he only 
wanted a counter-tenor. Could I believe my friend had 
ever read Shakespeare, I should certainly conclude he 
had taken the hint from Theseus, in the Midsummer 
Night's Dream: 

'^My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, 
So flewed, so sanded, and their heads are hung 
With ears that sweep away the morning dew: 
Crook-kneed and dew-lapped like Thessalian bulls; 
Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouths, like bells, 
Each under each. A cry more tuneable 
Was never hollaed to, nor cheered with horn." 

Sir Roger is so keen at this sport that he has been out 
almost every day since I came down; and upon the chap- 
lain's offering to lend me his easy pad, I was prevailed on 
yesterday morning to make one of the company. I was 
extremely pleased, as we rid along, to observe the general 
benevolence of all the neighborhood toward my friend. 
The farmers' sons thought themselves happy if they could 
open a gate for the good old knight as he passed by ; which 
he generally requited with a nod or a smile, and a kind 
inquiry after their fathers and uncles. 

After we had rid about a mile from home, we came 
upon a large heath, and the sportsmen began to beat. 
They had done so for some time, when, as I was at a 
little distance from the rest of the company, I saw a hare 
pop out from a small furze-brake almost under my horse's 


feet. I marked the way she took, which I endeavored to 
make the company sensible of by extending my arm; but 
to no purpose, till Sir Eoger, who knows that none of my 
extraordinary motions are insignificant, rode up to me, 
and asked me if puss was gone that way. Upon my an- 
swering "Yes,'' he immediately called in the dogs and put 
them upon the scent. As they were going off, I heard 
one of the country fellows muttering to his companion that 
'twas a wonder they had not lost all their sport, for want 
of the silent gentleman's crying "Stole away!" 

This, with my aversion to leaping hedges, made me 
withdraw to a rising ground, from whence I could have 
the picture of the whole chase, without the fatigue of 
keeping in with the hounds. The hare immediately threw 
them above a mile behind her; but I was pleased to find 
that instead of running straight forward, or, in hunter's 
language, "flying the country," as I was afraid she might 
have done, she wheeled about, and described a sort of cir- 
cle round the hill where I had taken my station, in such 
manner as gave me a very distinct view of the sport. I 
could see her first pass by, and the dogs some time after- 
ward unraveling the whole track she had made, and fol- 
lowing her through all her doubles. I was at the same 
time delighted in observing that deference which the 
rest of the pack paid to each particular hound, accord- 
ing to the character he had acquired amongst them: if 
they were at fault, and an old hound of reputation opened 
but once, he was immediately followed by the whole cry; 
while a raw dog, or one who was a noted liar, might have 
yelped his heart out, without being taken notice of. 

The hare now, after having squatted two or three times, 
and been put up again as often, came still nearer to the 
place where she was at first started. The dogs pursued 
her, and these were followed by the jolly knight, who rode 
upon a white gelding, encompassed by his tenants and 
servants, and cheering his hounds with all the gaiety of 
five-and-twenty. One of the sportsmen rode up to me, 
and told me that he was sure the chase was almost at an 


end, because the old dogs, which had hitherto lain behind, 
now headed the pack. The fellow was in the right. Our 
hare took a large field just under us, followed by the full 
cry ^^in view.'' I must confess the brightness of the 
weather, the cheerfulness of everything around me, the 
chiding of the hounds, which was returned upon us in 
a double echo from two neighboring hills, with the hol- 
lowing of the sportsmen, and the sounding of the horn, 
lifted my spirits into a most lively pleasure, which I freely 
indulged because I was sure it was innocent. If I was 
under any concern, it was on the account of the poor hare, 
that was now quite spent, and almost within reach of 
her enemies; when the huntsman, getting forward, threw 
down his pole before the dogs. They were now within 
eight yards of that game which they had been pursuing 
for almost as many hours; yet, on the signal before men- 
tioned, they all made a sudden stand, and though they 
continued opening as much as before, durst not once at- 
tempt to pass beyond the pole. At the same time Sir 
Koger rode forward, and, alighting, took up the hare in 
Hs arms, which he soon delivered up to one of his serv- 
ants with an order, if she could be kept alive, to let her 
go in his great orchard, where it seems he has several of 
these prisoners of war, who live together in a very com- 
fortable captivity. I was highly pleased to see the dis- 
cipline of the pack, and the good-nature of the knight, 
who could not find in his heart to murder a creature that 
had given him so much diversion. 

As we were returning home I remembered that Mon- 
sieur Pascal, in his most excellent discourse on the '^Mis- 
ery of Man," tells us that all our endeavors after great- 
ness proceed from nothing but a desire of being sur- 
rounded by a multitude of persons and affairs that may 
hinder us from looking into ourselves, which is a view 
we cannot bear. He afterward goes on to show that our 
love of sports comes from the same reason, and is par- 
ticularly severe upon hunting. "What,'' says he, "unless 
it be to drown thought, ^an make men throw away so 


much time and pains upon a silly animal, which they 
might buy cheaper in the market?" The foregoing re- 
flection is certainly just when a man suffers his whole 
mind to be drawn into his sports, and altogether loses 
himself in the woods; but does not affect those who pro- 
pose a far more laudable end from this exercise, — I mean, 
the preservation of health, and keeping all the organs of 
the soul in a condition to execute her orders. Had that 
incomparable person, whom I last quoted, been a little 
more indulgent to himself on this point, the world might 
probably have enjoyed him much longer; whereas through 
too great an application to his studies in his youth, he 
contracted that ill habit of body which, after a tedious 
sickness, carried him off in the fortieth year of his age; 
and the whole history we have of his life till that time, 
is but one continued account of the behavior of a noble 
soul struggling under innumerable pains and distempers. 

For my own part, I intend to hunt twice a week dur- 
ing my stay with Sir Eoger; and shall prescribe the mod- 
erate use of this exercise to all my country friends, as 
the best kind of physic for mending a bad constitution 
and preserving a good one. 

I cannot do this better than in the following lines out 
of Mr. Dry den: 

"The first physicians by debauch were made; 
Excess began, and sloth sustains the trade. 
By chase our long-lived fathers earned their food; 
Toil strung the nerves, and purified the blood; 
But we their sons, a pampered race of men, 
Are dwindled down to threescore years and ten. 
Better to hunt in fields for health unbought 
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught. 
The wise for cure on exercise depend: 
God never made his work for man to mend." X» 


[Spectator No. 117. Saturday, July 14, 1711. 

Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt.* 

— ^Veegil. 

There are some opinions in which a man should stand 
neuter, without engaging his assent to one side or the 
other. Such a hovering faith as this, which refuses to 
settle upon any determination, is absolutely necessary to 
a mind that is careful to avoid errors and prepossessions. 
When the arguments press equally on both sides in mat- 
ters that are indifferent to us, the safest method is to 
give up ourselves to neither. 

It is with this temper of mind that I consider the sub- 
ject of witchcraft. When I hear the relations that are 
made from all parts of the world, not only from Norway 
and Lapland, from the East and West Indies, but from 
every particular nation in Europe, I cannot forbear think- 
ing that there is such an intercourse and commerce with 
evil spirits as that which we express by the name of witch- 
craft. But when I consider that the ignorant and credu- 
lous parts of the world abound most in these relations, 
and that the persons among us who are supposed to 
engage in such an infernal commerce are people of a weak 
understanding and a crazed imagination, and at the same 
time reflect upon the many impostures and delusions of 
this nature that have been detected in all ages, I endeavor 
to suspend my belief till I hear more certain accounts than 
any which have yet come to my knowledge. In short, 
when I consider the question whether there are such per- 
sons in the world as those we call witches, my mind is 
divided between the two opposite opinions; or rather (to 
speak my thoughts freely), I believe in general that there 
is, and has been, such a thing as witchcraft; but at the 
same time can give no credit to any particular instance 

of it. 

' — -i— — ^^^ 

^ "With voluntary dreams they cheat their minds." 


I airi engaged in this speculation by some occurrences 
that I met with yesterday, which I shall give my reader 
an account of at large. As I was walking with my friend 
Sir Eoger by the side of one of his woods, an old woman 
applied herself to me for my charity. Her dress and 
figure put me in mind of the following description in 
Otway : 

•*In a close lane as I pursued my journey, 
I spied a wrinkled hag, with age grown double, 
Picking dry sticks, and mumbling to herself. 
Her eyes with scalding rheum were galled and red; 
Cold palsy shook her head; her hands seemed withered; 
And on her crooked shoulders had she wrapped 
The tattered remnants of an old striped hanging. 
Which served to keep her carcase from the cold: 
So there was nothing of a piece about her. 
Her lower weeds were all o'er coarsely patched 
With different colored rags — ^black, red, white, yellow — 
And seemed to speak variety of wretchedness." 

As I was musing on this description, and comparing 
it with the object before me, the knight told me that this 
very old woman had the reputation of a witch all over 
the country, that her lips were observed to be always in 
motion, and that there was not a switch about her house 
which her neighbors did not believe had carried her 
several hundreds of miles. If she chanced to stumble, 
they always found sticks or straws that lay in the figure 
of a cross before her. If she made any mistake at church, 
and cried "Amen" in a wrong place, they never failed 
to conclude that she was saying her prayers backward. 
There was not a maid in the parish that would take a 
pin of her, though she would offer a bag of money with 
it. She goes by the name of Moll White, and has made 
the country ring with several imaginary exploits which 
are palmed upon her. If the dairy-maid does not make 
her butter come so soon as she should have it, Moll 
White is at the bottom of the chum. If a horse sweats 


in the stable, Moll White has been upon his back. If a 
hare makes an unexpected escape from the hounds, the 
huntsman curses Moll White. "Nay," says Sir Roger, 'T. 
have known the master of the pack, upon such an occa- 
sion, send one of his servants to see if Moll White had 
been out that morning." 

This account raised my curiosity so far that I begged 
my friend Sir Eoger to go with me into her hovel, which 
stood in a solitary corner under the side of the wood. 
Upon our first entering, Sir Roger winked to me, and 
pointed at something that stood behind the door, which, 
upon looking that way, I found to be an old broomstaff. 
At the same time he whispered me in the ear to take no- 
tice of a tabby cat that sat in the chimney-comer, which, 
as the old knight told me, lay under as bad a report as 
Moll White herself; for besides that Moll is said often to 
accompany her in the same shape, the cat is reported to 
have spoken twice or thrice in her life, and to have 
played several pranks above the capacity of an ordinary 

I was secretly concerned to see human nature in so 
much wretchedness and disgrace, but at the same time 
could not forbear smiling to hear Sir Koger, who is a 
little puzzled about the old woman, advising her, as a 
justice of peace, to avoid all communication with the 
devil, and never to hurt any of her neighbor's cattle. We 
concluded our visit with a bounty, which was very ac- 

In our return home. Sir Eoger told me that old Moll 
had been often brought before him for making children 
spit pins, and giving maids the nightmare; and that the 
country people would be tossing her into a pond and try- 
ing experiments with her every day, if it was not for him 
and his chaplain. 

I have since found, upon inquiry, that Sir Koger was 
several times staggered with the reports that had been 
brought him concerning this old woman, and would fre- 
quently have bound her over to the county sessions had 


not his chaplain with much ado persuaded him to the 

I have been the more particular in this account be- 
cause I hear there is scarce a village in England that has 
not a Moll White in it. When an old woman begins to 
dote, and grow chargeable to a parish, she is generally 
turned into a witch, and fills the whole country with ex- 
travagant fancies, imaginary distempers, and terrifying 
dreams. In the meantime the poor wretch that is the 
innocent occasion of so many evils begins to be frighted 
at herself, and sometimes confesses secret commerce and 
familiarities that her imagination forms in a delirious 
old age. This frequently cuts off charity from the great- 
est objects of compassion, and inspires people with a 
malevolence toward those poor, decrepit parts of our 
species in whom human nature is defaced by infirmity 
and dotage. L. 

[Spectator No. 118. Monday, July 16, 1711. Steele.] 

Haeret lateri lethalis arundo.^ 

— ^Vergil. 

This agreeable seat is surrounded with so many pleas- 
ing walks which are struck out of a wood in the midst 
of which the house stands, that one can hardly ever be 
weary of rambling from one labyrinth of delight to an- 
other. To one used to live in a city, the charms of the 
country are so exquisite that the mind is lost in a certain 
transport which raises us above ordinary life, and is yet 
not strong enough to be inconsistent with tranquillity. 
This state of mind was I in, ravished with the murmur of 
waters, the whisper of breezes, the singing of birds; and 
whether I looked up to the heavens, down on the earth, 
or turned to the prospects around me, still struck with 
new sense of pleasure; when I found by the voice of my 
friend, who walked by me, that we had insensibly strolled 

^ "The fatal dart 
Sticks in his side, and rankles in his heart." — Drydbn. 


into the grove sacred to the widow. "This woman," says 
he, "is of all others the most unintelligible; she either 
designs to marry, or she does not. What is the most 
perplexing of all is, that she doth not either say to her 
lovers she has any resolution against that condition of 
life in general, or that she banishes them; but, conscious 
of her own merit, she permits their addresses without fear 
of any ill consequence, or want of respect, from their 
rage or despair. She has that in her aspect against which 
it is impossible to offend. A man whose thoughts are 
constantly bent upon so agreeable an object must be 
excused if the ordinary occurrences in conversation are 
below his attention. I call her, indeed, perverse, but, alas I 
why do I call her so? Because her superior merit is 
such that I cannot approach her without awe, that my 
heart is checked by too much esteem ; I am angry that her 
charms are not more accessible, that I am more inclined 
to worship than salute her; how often have I wished her 
unhappy that I might have an opportunity of serving her ? 
and how often troubled in that very imagination, at 
giving her the pain of being obliged? Well, I have led 
a miserable life in secret upon her account; but fancy 
she would have condescended to have some regard for 
me if it had not been for that watchful animal, her 

"Of all persons under the sun," continued he, calling 
me by my name, "be sure to set a mark upon confidantes ; 
they are of all people the most impertinent. What is 
most pleasant to observe in them is that they assume to 
themselves the merit of the persons whom they have in 
their custody. Orestilla is a great fortune, and in won- 
derful danger of surprises, therefore full of suspicions of 
the least indifferent thing, particularly careful of new ac- 
quaintance, and of growing too familiar with the old. 
Themista, her favorite woman, is every whit as careful 
of whom she speaks to and what she says. Let the ward 
be a beauty, her confidante shall treat you with an air of 
distance; let her be a fortune, and she assumes the suspi- 


cious behavior of her friend and patroness. Thus it is 
that very many of our unmarried women of distinction 
are to all intents and purposes married, except the 
consideration of different sexes. They are directly under 
the conduct of their whisperer, and think they are in a 
state of freedom while they can prate with one of these 
attendants of all men in general and still avoid the man 
they most like. You do not see one heiress in a hundred 
whose fate does not turn upon this circumstance of choos- 
ing a confidante. Thus it is that the lady is addressed 
to, presented, and flattered, only by proxy, in her woman. 

In my case, how is it possible that " 

Sir Roger was proceeding in his harangue, when we 
heard the voice of one speaking very importunately, and 
repeating these words, "What, not one smile?'' We fol- 
lowed the sound till we came to a close thicket, on the 
other side of which we saw a young woman sitting as it 
were in a personated suUenness just over a transparent 
fountain. Opposite to her stood Mr. William, Sir Roger's 
master of the game. The knight whispered me, "Hist, 
these are lovers." The huntsman, looking earnestly at 
the shadow of the young maiden in the stream : "O thou 
dear picture, if thou couldst remain there in the absence 
of that fair creature, whom you represent in the water, 
how willingly could I stand here satisfied forever, without 
troubling my deaj* Betty herself with any mention of her 
unfortunate William, whom she is angry with; but alas I' 
when she pleases to be gone, thou wilt also vanish — yet 
let me talk to thee while thou dost stay. Tell my dearest 
Betty thou dost not more depend upon her than does her 
William; her absence will make away with me as well 
as thee. If she offers to remove thee, I'll jump into these 
waves to lay hold on thee; herself, her own dear person, 
I must never embrace again. Still do you hear me with- 
out one smile? — it is too much to bear." He had no 
sooner spoke these words but he made an offer of throwing 
himself into the water; at which his mistress started up, 
and at the next instant he jumped across the fountain 


and met her in an embrace. She, half recovering from 
her fright, said in the most charming voice imaginable, 
and with a tone of complaint, "I thought how well you 
would drown yourself. No, no, you won't drown your- 
self till you have taken your leave of Susan HoUiday ." 
The huntsman, with a tenderness that spoke of the most 
passionate love, and with his cheek close to hers, whis- 
pered the softest vows of fidelity in her ear, and cried, 
"Don't, my dear, believe a word Kate Willow says ; she is 
spiteful and makes stories, because she loves to hear me 
talk to herself for your sake." 

"Look you there," quoth Sir Eoger, "do you see there, 
all mischief comes from confidantes! But let us not in- 
terrupt them; the maid is honest, and the man dares 
not be otherwise, for he knows Iloved her father; I will 
interpose in this matter, and hasten the wedding. Kate 
Willow is a witty, mischievous wench in the neighborhood, 
who was a beauty; and makes me hope I shall see the 
perverse widow in her condition. She was so flippant 
with her answers to all the honest fellows that came near 
her, and so very vain of her beauty, that she has valued 
herself upon her charms till they are ceased. She there- 
fore now makes it her business to prevent other young 
women from being more discreet than she was herself; 
however, the saucy thing said the other day well enough, 
^Sir Roger and I must make a match, for we are both 
despised by those we loved.' The hussy has a great deal 
of power wherever she comes, and has her share of cun- 

"However, when I reflect upon this woman, I do not 
know whether in the main I am the worse for having loved 
her ; whenever she is recalled to my imagination my youth 
returns, and I feel a forgotten warmth in my veins. This 
affliction in my life has streaked all my conduct with a 
softness of which I should otherwise have been incapable. 
It is, perhaps, to this dear image in my heart owing, that 
I am apt to relent, that I easily forgive, and that many de- 
sirable things are grown into my temper which I should 


not have arrived at by better motives than the thought of 
being one day hers. I am pretty well satisfied such a 
passion as I have had is never well cured; and between 
you and me, I am often apt to imagine it has had some 
whimsical effect upon my brain. For I frequently find 
that in my most serious discourse I let fall some comical 
familiarity of speech or odd phrase that makes the com- 
pany laugh; however, I cannot but allow she is a most 
excellent woman. When she is in the country, I warrant 
she does not run into dairies, but reads upon the nature 
of plants ; but has a glass hive, and comes into the garden 
out of books to see them work, and observe the policies of 
their commonwealth. She understands everything. I'd 
give ten pounds to hear her argue with my friend Sir 
Andrew Freeport about trade. No, no; for all she looks 
so innocent, as it were, take my word for it she is no 
fool." T. 

[Spectator No. 119. Tuesday, July 1Y, lYll. Addison.] 

Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Meliboee, putavi 

Stultus ego huic nostrae similem .^ 

— Vergil. 

The first and most obvious reflections which arise in a 
man who changes the city for the country, are upon the 
different manners of the people whom he meets with in 
those two different scenes of life. By manners I do not 
mean morals, but behavior and good breeding as they 
show themselves in the town and in the country. 

And here, in the first place, I must observe a very great 
revolution that has happened in this article of good 
breeding. Several obliging deferences, condescensions, 
and submissions, with many outward forms and cere- 
monies that accompany them, were first of all brought up 

1 "The city men caU Rome, unskilful clown, 
I thought resembled this our humble town." 

— Wabton. 


among the politer part of mankind, who lived in courts 
and cities, and distinguished themselves from the rustic 
part of the species, who on all occasions acted bluntly 
and naturally, by such a mutual complaisance and inter- 
course of civilities. These forms of conversation by de- 
grees multiplied and grew troublesome; the modish world 
found too great a constraint in them, and have therefore 
thrown most of them aside. Conversation was so encum- 
bered with show and ceremony that it stood in need of a 
reformation to retrench its superfluities and restore it to 
its natural good sense and beauty. At present, therefore, 
an unconstrained carriage and a certain openness of 
behavior are the height of good breeding. The fashion- 
able world is grown free and easy; our manners sit more 
loose upon us. Nothing is so modish as an agreeable 
negligence. In a word, good breeding shows itself most 
where, to an ordinary eye, it appears the least. 

If after this we look on the people of mode in the 
country, we find in them the manners of the last age. 
They have no sooner fetched themselves up to the fashion 
of the polite world but the town has dropped them, and 
are nearer to the first state of nature than to those re- 
finements which formerly reigned in the court and still 
prevail in the country. One may now know a man that 
never conversed in the world by his excess of good breed- 
ing. A polite country squire shall make you as many 
bows in half an hour as would serve a courtier for a 
week. There is infinitely more to do about place and 
precedency in a meeting of justices' wives than in an 
assembly of duchesses. 

This rural politeness is very troublesome to a man of 
my temper, who generally take the chair that is next me, 
and walk first or last, in the front or in the rear, as 
chance directs. I have known my friend Sir Roger's din- 
ner almost cold before the company could adjust the cere- 
monial, and be prevailed upon to sit down; and have 
heartily pitied my old friend, when I have seen him forced 
to pick and cull his guests as they sat at the several parts 


of his table, that he might drink their healths according 
to their respective ranks and qualities. Honest Will 
Wimble, who I should have thought had been altogether 
uninfected with ceremony, gives me abundance of trouble 
in this particular. Though he has been fishing all the 
morning, he will not help himself at dinner till I am 
served. When we are going out of the hall, he runs 
behind me; and last night, as we were walking in the 
fields, stopped short at a stile till I came up to it, and 
upon making signs to him to get over, told me, with a 
serious smile that, sure, I believed they had no manners 
in the country. 

There has happened another revolution in the point of 
good breeding, which related to the conversation among 
men of mode, and which I cannot but look upon as very 
extraordinary. It was certainly one of the first distinc- 
tions of a well-bred man to express everything that had 
the most remote appearance of being obscene in modest 
terms and distant phrases; whilst the clown, who had no 
such delicacy of conception and expression, clothed his 
ideas in those plain, homely terms that are the most 
obvious and natural. This kind of good manners was 
perhaps carried to an excess, so as to make conversation 
too stiff, formal, and precise; for which reason, as hy- 
pocrisy in one age is generally succeeded by atheism in 
another, conversation is in a great measure relapsed into 
the first extreme; so that at present several of our men 
of the town, and particularly those who have been polished 
in France, make use of the most coarse, uncivilized words 
in our language, and utter themselves often in such a 
manner as a clown would blush to hear. 

This infamous piece of good breeding which reigns 
among the coxcombs of the town has not yet made its 
way into the country; and as it is impossible for such 
an irrational way of conversation to last long among a 
people that make any profession of religion or show 
of modesty, if the country gentlemen get into it they will 
certainly be left in the lurch. Their good breeding will 


come too late to them, and they will be thought a parcel 
of lewd clowns, while they fancy themselves talking to- 
gether like men of wit and pleasure. 

As the two points of good breeding which I have hither- 
to insisted upon regard behavior and conversation, there 
is a third which turns upon dress. In this, too, the coun- 
try are very much behindhand. The rural beaus are 
not yet got out of the fashion that took place at the time 
of the Revolution, but ride about the country in red coats 
and laced hats, while the women in many parts are still 
trying to outvie one another in the height of their head- 

But a friend of mine, who is now upon the western 
circuit, having promised to give me an account of the 
several modes and fashions that prevail in the different 
parts of the nation through which he passes, I shall defer 
the enlarging upon this last topic till I have received 
a letter from him, which I expect every post. L. 

[Spectator No. 120. Wednesday, July 18, 1711. 

Equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis 

Ingenium .^ 

— Veegil. 

My friend Sir Roger is very often merry with me upon 
my passing so much of my time among his poultry. He 
has caught me twice or thrice looking after a bird's nest, 
and several times sitting an hour or two together near 
an hen and chickens. He tells me he believes I am per- 
sonally acquainted with every fowl about his house; calls 
such a particular cock my favorite, and frequently com- 
plains that his ducks and geese have more of my company 
than himself. 

I must confess I am infinitely delighted with those 
speculations of nature which are to be made in a country 

* " 1 deem their breasts inspired 

With a divine sagacity." 


life; and as my reading has very much lain among books 
of natural history, I cannot forbear recollecting upon 
this occasion the several remarks which I have met with 
in authors, and comparing them with what falls under 
my own observation, — the arguments for Providence drawn 
from the natural history of animals being, in my opinion, 

The make of every kind of animal is different from that 
of every other kind; and yet there is not the least turn 
in the muscles or twist in the fibers of any one, which 
does not render them more proper for that particular 
animal's way of life than any other cast or texture of 
them would have been. . . . 

It is astonishing to consider the different degrees of 
care that descend from the parent to the young, so far 
as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a posterity. 
Some creatures cast their eggs as chance directs them, 
and think of them no farther, as insects and several kinds 
of fish; others, of a nicer frame, find out proper beds to 
deposit them in, and there leave them, as the serpent, the 
crocodile, and ostrich; others hatch their eggs and tend 
the birth till it is able to shift for itseK. 

What can we call the principle which directs every 
different kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the 
structure of its nest, and directs all of the same species 
to work after the same model? It cannot be imitation; 
for though you hatch a crow under a hen, and never let 
it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it makes 
shall be the same, to the laying of a stick, with all the 
other nests of the same species. It cannot be reason ; for 
were animals indued with it to as great a degree as man, 
their buildings would be as different as ours, according 
to the different conveniences that they would propose to 

Is it not remarkable that the same temper of weather 
which raises this genial warmth in animals, should cover 
the trees with leaves, and the fields with grass, for their 
security and concealment, and produce such infinite 


swarms of insects for the support and sustenance of their 
respective broods? 

Is it not wonderful that the love of the parent should 
be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last no 
longer than is necessary for the preservation of the young ? 
. . . For so soon as the wants of the latter cease, the 
mother withdraws her fondness, and leaves them to pro- 
vide for themselves; and what is a very remarkable cir- 
cumstance in this part of instinct, we find that the love 
of the parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual time, 
if the preservation of the species requires it: as we may 
see in birds that drive away their young as soon as they 
are able to get their livelihood, but continue to feed 
them if they are tied to the nest, or confined within a 
cage, or by any other means appear to be out of a condi- 
tion of supplying their own necessities. . . . This natural 
love is not observed in animals to ascend from the young 
to the parent, which is not at all necessary for the con- 
tinuance of the species : nor indeed in reasonable creatures 
does it rise in any proportion, as it spreads itself down- 
wards; for in all family affection we find protection 
granted and favors bestowed are greater motives to love 
and tenderness than safety, benefits, or life received. 

One would wonder to hear skeptical men disputing for 
the reason of animals, and telling us it is only our pride 
and prejudices that will not allow them the use of that 

Keason shows itself in all occurrences of life; whereas 
the brute makes no discovery of such a talent but in what 
immediately regards his own preservation or the continu- 
ance of his species. 

Animals in their generation are wiser than the sons of 
men, but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, 
and lies in a very narrow compass. Take a brute out of 
his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of under- 
standing. To use an instance that comes often under 
observation : 

With what caution does the hen provide herself a nest 


in places unfrequented and free from noise and disturb- 
ance 1 When she has laid her eggs in such a manner that 
she can cover them, what care does she take in turning 
them frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital 
warmth ! When she leaves them, to provide for her neces- 
sary sustenance, how punctually does she return before 
they have time to cool and become incapable of producing 
an animal! In the summer you see her giving herself 
greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two 
hours together ; but in winter, when the rigor of the season 
would chill the principles of life, and destroy the young 
one, she grows more assiduous in her attendance, and 
stays away but half the time. When the birth approaches, 
with how much nicety and attention does she help the 
chick to break its prison! not to take notice of her cover- 
ing it from the injuries of the weather, providing it 
proper nourishment, and teaching it to help itself; nor 
to mention her forsaking the nest, if after the usual time 
of reckoning the young one does not make its appearance. 
A chemical operation could not be followed with greater 
art or diligence than is seen in the hatching of a chick; 
though there are many other birds that show an infinitely 
greater sagacity in all the forementioned particulars. 

But at the same time the hen, that has all this seeming 
ingenuity, which is indeed absolutely necessary for the 
propagation of the species, considered in other respects, 
is without the least glimmerings of thought or common- 
sense. She mistakes a piece of chalk for an egg, and sits 
upon it in the same manner; she is insensible of any 
increase or diminution in the number of those she lays; 
she does not distinguish between her own and those of 
another species; and when the birth appears of never 
so different a bird will cherish it for her own. In all 
these circumstances which do not carry an immediate 
regard to the subsistence of herself or her species, she 
is a very idiot. 

There is not, in my opinion, anything more mysterious 
in nature than this instinct in animals, which thus 


rises above reason, and falls infinitely short of it. It 
cannot be accounted for by any properties in matter, 
and at the same time works after so odd a manner that 
one cannot think it the faculty of an intellectual being. 
For my own part, I look upon it as upon the principle of 
gravitation in bodies, which is not to be explained by any 
known qualities inherent in the bodies themselves, nor 
from any laws of mechanism, but, according to the best 
notions of the greatest philosophers, is an immediate im- 
pression from the first Mover and the Divine Energy act- 
ing in the creatures. L. 

[Spectator No. 122. Fmday, July 20, 1711. Addison.] 

Comes jucundus in via pro vehiculo est.* 
— PuBLius Sybus. 

A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of 
his own heart; his next, to escape the censures of the 
world. If the last interferes with the former, it ought 
to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be a 
greater satisfaction to an honest mind than to see those 
approbations which it gives itself seconded by the ap- 
plauses of the public. A man is more sure of his con- 
duct when the verdict which he passes upon his own 
behavior is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion 
of all that know him. 

My worthy friend Sir Eoger is one of those who is not 
only at peace within himself but beloved and esteemed by 
all about him. He receives a suitable tribute for his 
universal benevolence to mankind in the returns of affec- 
tion and good-will which are paid him by every one that 
lives within his neighborhood. I lately met with two or 
three odd instances of that general respect which is 
shown to the good old knight. He would needs carry 
Will Wimble and myself with him to the county assizes. 
As we were upon the road. Will Wimble joined a couple 
of plain men who rid before us, and conversed with them 

* "An agreeable companion on the road is as good as a coach." 


for some time, during which my friend Sir Eoger ac- 
quainted me with their characters. 

"The first of them," says he, "that has a spaniel by 
his side, is a yeoman of about an hundred pounds a year, 
an honest man. He is just within the Game Act, and 
qualified to kill an hare or a pheasant. He knocks down 
a dinner with his gun twice or thrice a week; and by 
that means lives much cheaper than those who have not 
so good an estate as himself. He would be a good neigh- 
bor if he did not destroy so many partridges; in short 
he is a very sensible man, shoots flying, and has been sev- 
eral times foreman of the petty- jury. 

"The other that rides along with him is Tom Touchy, a 
fellow famous for taking the law of everybody. There is 
not one in the town where he lives that he has not sued 
for a quarter-sessions. The rogue had once the impudence 
to go to law with the widow. His head is full of costs, 
damages, and ejectments; he plagued a couple of honest 
gentlemen so long for a trespass in breaking one of his 
hedges, till he was forced to sell the ground it enclosed 
to defray the charges of the prosecution. His father left 
him fourscore poimds a year, but he has cast and been 
cast so often that he is not now worth thirty. I suppose 
he is going upon the old business of the willow tree." 

As Sir Roger was giving me this account of Tom 
Touchy, Will Wimble and his two companions stopped 
short till we came up to them. After having paid their 
respects to Sir Roger, Will told him that Mr. Touchy 
and he must appeal to him upon a dispute that arose 
between them. Will, it seems, had been giving his fellow- 
traveler an account of his angling one day in such a hole ; 
when Tom Touchy, instead of hearing out his story, told 
him that Mr. Such-an-one, if he pleased, might take the 
law of him for fishing in that part of the river. My 
friend Sir Roger heard them both, upon a round trot; 
and, after having paused some time, told them, with the 
air of a man who would not give Bis judgment rashly, 
that much might he said on both sides. Th^ were neither 


of them dissatisfied with the knight's determination, be- 
cause neither of them found himself in the wrong by it. 
Upon which we made the best of our way to the assizes. 

The court was sat before Sir Roger came; but not- 
withstanding all the justices had taken their places upon 
the bench, they made room for the old knight at the 
head of them ; who, for his reputation in the country, took 
occasion to whisper in the judge's ear that he was glad his 
lordship had met with so much good weather in his cir- 
cuit. I was listening to the proceeding of the court with 
much attention, and infinitely pleased with that great 
appearance and solemnity which so properly accompanies 
such a public administration of our laws, when, after 
about an hour's sitting, I observed, to my great surprise, 
in the midst of a trial, that my friend Sir Roger was 
getting up to speak. I was in some pain for him, till 
I found he had acquitted himself of two or three sentences, 
with a look of much business and great intrepidity. 

Upon his first rising the court was hushed, and a gen- 
eral whisper ran among the country people that Sir Roger 
was up. The speech he made was so little to the purpose 
that I shall not trouble my readers with an account of 
it; and I believe was not so much designed by the knight 
himself to inform the court, as to give him a figure in 
niy eye, and keep up his credit in the country. 

I was highly delighted, when the court rose, to see 
the gentlemen of the country gathering about my old 
friend, and striving who should compliment him most; 
at the same time that the ordinary people gazed upon 
him at a distance, not a little admiring his courage that 
was not afraid to speak to the judge. 

In our return home we met with a very odd accident, 
which I cannot forbear relating, because it shows how 
desirous all who know Sir Roger are of giving him marks 
of their esteem. When we were arrived upon the verge 
of his estate, we stopped at a little inn to rest ourselves 
and our horses. The man of the house had, it seems, 
been formerly a servant in the knight's family; and, to 


do honor to his old master, had some time since, unknown 
to Sir Roger, put him up in a sign-post before the door; 
so that the knight's head had hung out upon the road 
about a week before he himself knew anything of the 
matter. As soon as Sir Eoger was acquainted with it, 
finding that his servant's indiscretion proceeded wholly 
from affection and good-will, he only told him that he had 
made him too high a compliment; and when the fellow 
seemed to think that could hardly be, added, with a 
more decisive look, that it was too great an honor for any 
man under a duke; but told him at the same time that 
it might be altered with a very few touches, and that he 
himself would be at the charge of it. Accordingly they 
got a painter, by the knight's directions, to add a pair 
of whiskers to the face, and by a little aggravation to the 
features to change it into the Saracen's Head. I should 
not have known this story had not the inn-keeper, upon 
Sir Roger's alighting, told him in my hearing that his 
honor's head was brought back last night with the altera- 
tions that he had ordered to be made in it. Upon this, 
my friend, with his usual cheerfulness, related the par- 
ticulars above mentioned, and ordered the head to be 
brought into the room. I could not forbear discovering 
greater expressions of mirth than ordinary upon the ap- 
pearance of this monstrous face, under which, notwith- 
standing it was made to frown and stare in a most extraor- 
dinary manner, I could still discover a distant resem- 
blance of my old friend. Sir Roger, upon seeing me 
laugh, desired me to tell him truly if I thought it possible 
for people to know him in that disguise. I at first kept 
my usual silence; but upon the knight's conjuring me 
to tell him whether it was not still more like himself than 
a Saracen, I composed my countenance in the best manner 
I could, and replied that much might be said on both 

These several adventures, with the knight's behavior in 
them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I met with in any 
of my travels. L. 


[Spectator No. 123. Saturday, July 21, 1711. Addison.] 

Doctrina sed vim promo vet insitam 

Rectique cultus pectora roborant; 
Utcunque defecere mores, 
Dedecorant bene nata culpae.* 


As I was yesterday taking the air with my friend Sir 
Koger, we were met by a fresh-colored, ruddy young man, 
who rid by us full speed, with a couple of servants behind 
him. Upon my inquiry who he was. Sir Eoger told me 
that he was a young gentleman of a considerable estate, 
who had been educated by a tender mother that lives not 
many miles from the place where we were. She is a very 
good lady, says my friend, but took so much care of her 
son's health, that she has made him good for nothing. 
She quickly found that reading was bad for his eyes, 
and that writing made his head ache. He was let loose 
among the woods as soon as he was able to ride on horse- 
back, or to carry a gun upon his shoulder. To be brief, 
I found by my friend's account of him, that he had got a 
great stock of he:^lth, but nothing else; and that, if it 
were a man's business only to live, there would not be 
a more accomplished young fellow in the whole country. 

The truth of it is, since my residing in these parts I 
have seen and heard innumerable instances of young heirs 
and elder brothers who — either from their own reflecting 
upon the estates they are born to, and therefore thinking 
all other accomplishments unnecessary; or from hearing 
these notions frequently inculcated to them by the flattery 
of their servants and domestics ; or from the same foolish 
thought prevailing in those who have the care of their 
education — are of no manner of use but to keep up their 

* "Yet the best blood by learning is refined, 
And virtue arms the solid mind ; 
Whilst vice will stamp the noblest race, 
And the paternal stamp efface." — Oldiswobth. 


families, and transmit their lands and houses in a line to 

This makes me often think on a story I have heard of 
two friends, which I shall give my reader at large under 
feigned names. The moral of it may, I hope, be useful, 
though there are some circumstances which make it rather 
appear like a novel than a true story. 

Eudoxus and Leontine began the world with small es- 
tates. They were both of them men of good sense and 
great virtue. They prosecuted their studies together in 
their earlier years, and entered into such a friendship as 
lasted to the end of their lives. Eudoxus, at his firsi? 
setting out in the world, threw himself into a court, 
where by his natural endowments and his acquired abili- 
ties he made his way from one post to another, till at 
length he had raised a very considerable fortune. Leon- 
tine, on the contrary, sought all opportunities of improv- 
ing his mind by study, conversation, and travel. He 
was not only acquainted with all the sciences, but the 
most eminent professors of them throughout Europe. He 
knew perfectly well the interests of its princes, with the 
customs and fashions of their courts, and could scarce 
meet with the name of an extraordinary person in The 
Gazette whom he had not either talked to or seen. In 
short, he had so well mixed and digested his knowledge 
of men and books that he made one of the most accom- 
plished persons of his age. During the whole course of 
his studies and travels he kept up a punctual correspond- 
ence with Eudoxus, who often made himseK acceptable to 
the principal men about court by the intelligence which 
he received from Leontine. When they were both turned 
of forty — an age in which, according to Mr. Cowley, "there 
is no dallying with life" — ^they determined, pursuant to 
the resolution they had taken in the beginning of their 
lives, to retire, and pass the remainder of their days in 
the country. In order to this, they both of them married 
much about the same time. Leontine, with his own and 
his wife's fortune, bought a farm of three hundred a 


year, which lay wiihin the neighborhood of his friend 
Eudoxus, who had purchased an estate of as many thou- 
sands. They were both of them fathers about the same 
time, Eudoxus having a son born to him, and Leontine a 
daughter; but, to the unspeakable grief of the latter, his 
young wife, in whom all his happiness was wrapt up, 
died a few days after the birth of her daughter. His 
affliction would have been insupportable had not he been 
comforted by the daily visits and conversations of his 
friend. As they were one day talking together with their 
usual intimacy, Leontine considering how incapable he 
was of giving his daughter a proper education in his 
own house, and Eudoxus reflecting on the ordinary be- 
havior of a son who knows himself to be the heir of a 
great estate, they both agreed upon an exchange of chil- 
dren; namely, that the boy should be bred up with Leon- 
tine as his son, and that the girl should live with Eudoxus 
as his daughter, till they were each of them arrived at 
years of discretion. The wife of Eudoxus, knowing that 
her son could not be so advantageously brought up as 
under the care of Leontine, and considering at the same 
time that he would be perpetually under her own eye, 
was by degrees prevailed upon to fall in with the project. 
She therefore took Leonilla, for that was the name of 
the girl, and educated her as her own daughter. The two 
friends on each side had wrought themselves to such an 
habitual tenderness for the children who were under their 
direction, that each of them had the real passion of a 
father, where the title was but imaginary. Florio, the 
name of the young heir that lived with Leontine, though 
he had all the duty and affection imaginable for his sup- 
posed parent, was taught to rejoice at the sight of Eu- 
doxus, who visited his friend very frequently, and was 
dictated by his natural affection, as well as by the rules 
of prudence, to make himself esteemed and beloved by 
Elorio. The boy was now old enough to know his sup- 
posed father's circumstances, and that therefore he was 
to make his way in the world by his own industry. This 


consideration grew stronger in him every day, and pro- 
duced so good an effect that he applied himself with more 
than ordinary attention to the pursuit of everything which 
Leontine recommended to him. His natural abilities, 
which were very good, assisted by the directions of so 
excellent a counselor, enabled him to make a quicker 
progress than ordinary through all the parts of his educa- 
tion. Before he was twenty years of age, having finished 
his studies and exercises with great applause, he was 
removed from the University to the Inns of Court, where 
there are very few that make themselves considerable pro- 
ficients in the studies of the place who know they shall 
arrive at great estates without them. This was not 
Florio's case; he found that three hundred a year was 
but a poor estate for Leontine and himself to live upon, 
so that he studied without intermission till he gained a 
very good insight into the constitution and laws of his 

I should have told my reader, that whilst Florio lived 
at the house of his foster-father he was always an ac- 
ceptable guest in the family of Eudoxus, where he became 
acquainted with Leonilla from her infancy. His ac- 
quaintance with her, by degrees grew into love, which in 
a mind trained up in all the sentiments of honor and 
virtue became a very uneasy passion. He despaired of 
gaining an heiress of so great a fortune, and would rather 
have died than attempted it by any indirect methods. 
Leonilla, who was a woman of the greatest beauty joined 
with the greatest modesty, entertained at the same time 
a secret passion for Florio, but conducted herself with 
so much prudence that she never gave him the least inti- 
mation of it. Florio was now engaged in all those arts 
and improvements that are proper to raise a man's private 
fortune, and give him a figure in his country, but secretly 
tormented with that passion which burns with the great- 
est fury in a virtuous and noble heart, when he received 
a sudden summons from Leontine to repair to him into 
the country the next day. For it seems Eudoxus was so 


filled with the report of his son's reputation that he could 
no longer withhold making himself known to him. The 
morning after his arrival at the house of his supposed 
father, Leontine told him that Eudoxus had something 
of great importance to communicate to him; upon which 
the good man embraced him and wept. Florio was no 
sooner arrived at the great house that stood in his neigh- 
borhood but Eudoxus took him by the hand, after the 
first salutes were over, and conducted him into his closet. 
He there opened to him the whole secret of his parentage 
and education, concluding after this manner: "I have no 
other way left of acknowledging my gratitude to Leontine 
than by marrying you to his daughter. He shall not 
lose the pleasure of being your father by the discovery 
I have made to you. Leonilla, too, shall be still my daugh- 
ter; her filial piety, though misplaced, has been so exem- 
plary that it deserves the greatest reward I can confer 
upon it. You shall have the pleasure of seeing a great 
estate fall to you, which you would have lost the relish of 
had you known yourself bom to it. Continue only to 
deserve it in the same manner you did before you were 
possessed of it. I have left your mother in the next 
room. Her heart yearns toward you. She is making the 
same discoveries to Leonilla which I have made to 
yourself.'' Florio was so overwhelmed with this profu- 
sion of happiness that he was not able to make a reply, 
but threw himseK down at his father's feet, and amidst a 
flood of tears kissed and embraced his knees, asking his 
blessing, and expressing in dumb show those sentiments 
of love, duty, and gratitude that were too big for utter- 
ance. To conclude, the happy pair were married, and 
half Eudoxus's estate settled upon them. Leontine and 
Eudoxus passed the remainder of their lives together; and 
received in the dutiful and affectionate behavior of Florio 
and Leonilla the just recompense, as well as the natural 
effects, of that care which they had bestowed upon them 
in their education. L, 


On Party Spirit 
[Spectator No. 125. Tuesday, July 24, 1711. Addison.] 

Ne, pueri, ne tanta animis assuescite bella: 
Neu patriae validas in viscera vertite vires.^ 

— Vebgll. 

My worthy friend, Sir Eoger, when we are talking 
of the malice of parties, very frequently tells us an acci- 
dent that happened to him when he was a school-boy, 
which was at a time when the feuds ran high between the 
Eoundheads and Cavaliers. This worthy knight, being 
then but a stripling, had occasion to inquire which was 
the way to St. Anne's Lane, upon which the person whom 
he spoke to, instead of answering his question, called him 
a young popish cur, and asked him who had made Anne 
a saint! The boy, being in some confusion, inquired of 
the next he met, which was the way to Anne's Lane; but 
was called a prick-eared cur for his pains, and instead of 
being shown the way was told that she had been a saint 
before he was bom, and would be one after he was hanged. 
"Upon this," says Sir Roger, "I did not think fit to repeat 
the former question, but going into every lane of the 
neighborhood, asked what they called the name of that 
lane." By which ingenious artifice he found out the place 
he inquired after, without giving offense to any party. 
Sir Roger generally closes this narrative with reflections 
on the mischief that parties do in the country; how they 
spoil good neighborhood, and make honest gentlemen hate 
one another; besides that they manifestly tend to the 
prejudice of the land-tax, and the destruction of the game. 

There cannot a greater judgment befall a country than 
such a dreadful spirit of division as rends a government 
into two distinct people, and makes them greater strangers 

1 "This thirst of kindred blood, my sires, detest. 
Nor turn your force against your country's breast." 

— Drydbn. 


and more averse to one another than if they were actually 
two different nations. The effects of such a division are 
pernicious to the last degree, not only with regard to 
those advantages which they give the common enemy, but 
to those private evils which they produce in the heart of 
almost every particular person. This influence is very 
fatal both to men's morals and their understandings; it 
sinks the virtue of a nation, and not only so, but destroys 
even common sense. 

A furious party spirit, when it rages in its full violence, 
exerts itself in civil war and bloodshed; and when it is 
under its greatest restraints naturally breaks out in false- 
hood, detraction, calumny, and a partial administration 
of justice. In a word, it fills a nation with spleen and 
rancor, and extinguishes all the seeds of good-nature, 
compassion, and humanity. Plutarch says, very finely, 
that a man should not allow himself to hate even his 
enemies ; — ^^Because," says he, '4f you indulge this passion 
in some occasions, it will rise of itself in others; if you 
hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit 
of mind as by degrees will break out upon those who 
are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you." I 
might here observe how admirably this precept of morality, 
which derives the malignity of hatred from the passion 
itself, and not from its object., answers to that great rule 
which was dictated to the world about an hundred years 
before this philosopher wrote; but instead of that, I shall 
only take notice, with a real grief of heart, that the minds 
of man^ good men among us appear soured with party 
principles, and alienated from one another in such a man- 
ner as seems to me altogether inconsistent with the dic- 
tates either of reason or religion. Zeal for a public cause 
is apt to breed passions in the hearts of virtuous persons 
to which the regard of their own private interest would 
never have betrayed them. 

If this party spirit has so ill an effect on our morals, 
it has likewise a very great one upon our judgments. We 
often hear a poor, insipid paper or pamphlet cried up, and 


sometimes a noble piece depreciated, by those who are of 
a different principle from the author. One who is actu- 
ated by this spirit is almost under an incapacity of dis- 
cerning either real blemishes or beauties. A man of merit 
in a different principle is like an object seen in two 
different mediums, that appears crooked or broken, how- 
ever straight or entire it may be in itself. For this rea- 
son, there is scarce a person of any figure in England who 
does not go by two contrary characters, as opposite to 
one another as light and darkness. Knowledge and learn- 
ing suffer in a particular manner from this strange preju- 
dice, which at present prevails amongst all ranks and 
degrees in the British nation. As men formerly became 
eminent in learned societies by their parts and acquisi- 
tions, they now distinguish themselves by the warmth 
and violence with which they espouse their respective 
parties. Books are valued upon the like considerations. 
An abusive, scurrilous style passes for satire, and a dull 
scheme of party notions is called fine writing. 

There is one piece of sophistry practised by both sides, 
and that is the taking any scandalous story that has been 
ever whispered or invented of a private man for a known, 
undoubted truth, and raising suitable speculations upon 
it. Calumnies that have never been proved, or have been 
often refuted, are the ordinary postulatums of these in- 
famous scribblers, upon which they proceed as upon first 
principles granted by all men, though in their hearts they 
know they are false, or at best very doubtful. When they 
have laid these foundations of scurrility, it is no wonder 
that their superstructure is every way answerable to them. 
If this shameless practise of the present age endures much 
longer, praise and reproach will cease to be motives of 
action in good men. 

There are certain periods of time in all governments 
when this inhuman spirit prevails. Italy was long torn 
in pieces by the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and France by 
those who were for and against the League; but it is very 
unhappy for a man to be born in such a stormy and 


tempestuous season. It is the restless ambition of artful 
men that thus breaks a people into factions, and draws 
several well-meaning persons to their interest by a spe- 
cious concern for their country. How many honest minds 
are filled with uncharitable and barbarous notions, out 
of their zeal for the public good! What cruelties and 
outrages would they not commit against men of an 
adverse party, whom they would honor and esteem, if, 
instead of considering them as they are represented, they 
knew them as they are ! Thus are persons of the greatest 
probity seduced into shameful errors and prejudices, and 
made bad men even by that noblest of principles, the 'love 
of their country." I cannot here forbear mentioning the 
famous Spanish proverb, "If there were neither fools nor 
knaves in the world, all people would be of one mind." 

For my own part, I could heartily wish that all 
honest men would enter into an association for the sup- 
port of one another against the endeavors of those whom 
they ought to look upon as their common enemies, what- 
soever side they may belong to. Were there such an 
honest body of neutral forces, we should never see the 
worst of men in great figures of life, because they are use- 
ful to a party; nor the best unregarded, because they are 
above practising those methods which would be grateful 
to their faction. We should then single every criminal 
out of the herd, and hunt him down, however formidable 
and overgrown he might appear. On the contrary, we 
should shelter distressed innocence, and defend virtue, 
however beset with contempt or ridicule, envy or defama- 
tion. In short, we should not any longer regard our 
fellow subjects as Whigs or Tories, but should make the 
man of merit our friend, and the villain our enemy. 



[Spectator No. 126. Wednesday, July 25, 1711, 

Tros Rutulusve fuat, nullo discrimine habebo.^ 

— Vebgil. 

In my yesterday's paper, I proposed that the honest men 
of all parties should enter into a kind of association 
for the defense of one another and the confusion of their 
common enemies. As it is designed this neutral body 
should act with a regard to nothing but truth and equity, 
and divest themselves of the little heats and preposses- 
sions that cleave to parties of all kinds, I have prepared 
for them the following form of an association, which may 
express their intentions in the most plain and simple 
manner : 

^We whose names are hereunto subscribed, do solemnly 
declare that we do in our consciences believe two and 
two make four; and that we shall adjudge any man 
whatsoever to be our enemy who endeavors to persuade 
us to the contrary. 

^We are likewise ready to maintain, with the hazard 
of all that is near and dear to us, that six is less than 
seven in all times and all places, and that ten will not 
be more three years hence than it is at present. 

"We do also firmly declare, that it is our resolution as 
long as we live to call black black, and white white. And 
we shall upon all occasions oppose such persons that, upon 
any day of the year, shall call black white, or white 
black, with the utmost peril of our lives and fortunes." 

Were there such a combination of honest men, who 
without any regard to places would endeavor to extirpate 
all such furious zealots as would sacrifice one half of their 
country to the passion and interest of the other; as also 

* "Rutulians, Trojans, are the same to me.'* — Drtdbn. 


such infamous hypocrites that are for promoting their 
own advantage under color of the public good; with all 
the profligate, immoral retainers to each side, that have 
nothing to recommend them but an implicit submission to 
their leaders; — we should soon see that furious party 
spirit extinguished which may in time expose us to the 
derision and contempt of all the nations about us. 

A member of this society that would thus carefully 
employ himself in making room for merit by throwing 
down the worthless and depraved part of mankind from 
those conspicuous stations of life to which they have been 
sometimes advanced, and all this without any regard to 
his private interest, would be no small benefactor to his 

I remember to have read in Diodorus Siculus an ac- 
count of a very active little animal, which I think he calls 
the ichneumon, that makes it the whole business of his 
life to break the eggs of the crocodile, which he is always 
in search after. This instinct is the more remarkable 
because the ichneumon never feeds upon the eggs he has 
broken, nor in any other way finds his account in them. 
Were it not for the incessant labors of this industrious 
animal, Egypt, says the historian, would be overrun with 
crocodiles; for the Egyptians are so far from destroying 
those pernicious creatures that they worship them as gods. 

If we look into the behavior of ordinary partizans, we 
shall find them far from resembling this disinterested ani- 
mal, and rather acting after the example of the wild 
Tartars, who are ambitious of destroying a man of the 
most extraordinary parts and accomplishments, as think- 
ing that upon his decease the same talents, whatever post 
they qualified him for, enter of course into his destroyer. 

As in the whole train of my speculations I have en- 
deavored, as much as I am able, to extinguish that per- 
nicious spirit of passion and prejudice which rages with 
the same violence in aU parties, I am still the more 
desirous of doing some good in this particular because I 
observe that the spirit of party reigns more in the coun- 


try than in the town. It here contracts a kind of brutality 
and rustic fierceness to which men of a politer conversa- 
tion are wholly strangers. It extends itself even to the 
return of the bow and the hat ; and at the same time that 
the heads of parties preserve toward one another an out- 
ward show of good breeding, and keep up a perpetual 
intercourse of civilities, their tools that are dispersed in 
these outlying parts will not so much as mingle together 
at a cock-match. This humor fills the country with sev- 
eral periodical meetings of Whig jockeys and Tory fox- 
hunters, not to mention the innumerable curses, frowns, 
and whispers it produces at a quarter-sessions. 

I do not know whether I have observed, in any of my 
former papers, that my friends Sir Roger de Coverley and 
Sir Andrew Freeport are of different principles; the first 
of them inclined to the landed and the other to the 
moneyed interest. This humor is so moderate in each of 
them that it proceeds no farther than to an agreeable 
raillery, which very often diverts the rest of the club. I 
find, however, that the knight is a much stronger Tory in 
the country than in town, which, as he has told me in my 
ear, is absolutely necessary for the keeping up his interest. 
In all our journey from London to his house we did not 
so much as bait at a Whig inn ; or if by chance the coach- 
man stopped at a wrong place, one of Sir Roger's servants 
would ride up to his master full speed, and whisper to 
him that the master of the house was against such an one 
in the last election. This often betrayed us into hard 
beds and bad cheer; for we were not so inquisitive about 
the inn as the innkeeper, and, provided our landlord's 
principles were sound, did not take any notice of the 
staleness of his provisions. This I found stiU the more 
inconvenient because the better the host was, the worse 
generally were his accommodations, — ^the fellow knowing 
very well that those who were his friends would take up 
with coarse diet and an hard lodging. For these reasons, 
all the while I was upon the road I dreaded entering into 


an house of any one that Sir Eoger had applauded for an 
honest man. 

Since my stay at Sir Eoger's in the country, I daily 
find more instances of this narrow party-humor. Being 
upon a bowling-green at a neighboring market-town the 
other day (for that is the place where the gentlemen 
of one side meet once a week), I observed a stranger 
among them of a better presence and genteeler behavior 
than ordinary; but was much surprised that, notwith- 
standing he was a very fair better, nobody would take him 
up. But, upon inquiry, I found that he was one who 
had given a disagreeable vote in a former parliament, 
for which reason there was not a man upon that bowling- 
green who would have so much correspondence with him 
as to win his money of him. 

Among other instances of this nature, I must not omit 
one which concerns myself. Will Wimble was the other 
day relating several strange stories, that he had picked up 
nobody knows where, of a certain great man, and upon 
my staring at him, as one that was surprised to hear such 
things in the country which had never been so much as 
whispered in the town. Will stopped short in the thread 
of his discourse, and after dinner asked my friend Sir 
Koger in his ear if he was sure that I was not a fanatic' 

It gives me a serious concern to see such a spirit of 
dissension in the country; not only as it destroys virtue 
and common sense, and renders us in a manner bar- 
barians toward one another, but as it perpetuates our 
animosities, widens our breaches, and transmits our pres- 
ent passions and prejudices to our posterity. For my 
own part, I am sometimes afraid that I discover the seeds 
of a civil war in these our divisions, and therefore cannot 
but bewail, as in their first principles, the miseries and 
calamities of our children. C. 


[Spectator No. 127. Thursday, July 26, 1711. 

Quantum est in rebus Inane?* 

— Pees. 

It is our custom at Sir Roger's, upon the coming in of 
the post, to sit about a pot of coffee, and hear the old 
knight read Dyer's Letter; which he does with his spec- 
tacles upon liis nose, and in an audible voice, smiling 
very often at those little strokes of satire which are so fre- 
quent in the writings of that author. I afterwards com- 
municate to the knight such packets as I receive under 
the quality of Spectator. The following letter chancing 
to please him more than ordinary, I shall publish it at 
his request: — 

"Mr. Spectator, 

^TTou have diverted the town almost a whole month at 
the expense of the country, it is now high time that you 
should give the country their revenge. Since your with- 
drawing from this place, the fair sex are run into great 
extravagancies. Their petticoats, which began to heave 
and swell before you left us, are now blown up into a 
most enormous concave, and rise every day more and 
more: in short, sir, since our women know themselves 
to be out of the eye of the Spectator, they will be kept 
within no compass. You praised them a little too soon, 
for the modesty of their head-dresses; for as the humor 
of a sick person is often driven out of one limb into an- 
other, their superfluity of ornaments, instead of being 
entirely banished, seems only fallen from their heads 
upon their lower parts. What they have lost in height 
they have made up in breadth, and contrary to all rules of 
architecture widen the foundations at the same time that 
they shorten the superstructure. Were they, like Spanish 

1 How much of emptiness we find in things? 


jennets, to impregnate by the wind, they could not have 
thought on a more proper invention. But as we do not yet 
hear any particular use in this petticoat, or that it contains 
anything more than what was supposed to be in those 
of scantier make, we are wonderfully at a loss about it. 

"The women give out, in defense of these wide bottoms, 
that they are airy and very proper for the season; but 
this I look upon to be only a pretense, and a piece of art, 
for it is well known we have not had a more moderate 
summer these many years, so that it is certain the heat 
they complain of cannot be in the weather; besides, I 
would fain ask these tender-constitutioned ladies, why 
they should require more cooling than their mothers be- 
fore them? 

"I find several speculative persons are of opinion that 
our sex has of late years been very saucy, and that the 
hoop petticoat is made use of to keep us at a distance. 
It is most certain that a woman's honor cannot be better 
entrenched than after this manner, in circle within circle, 
amidst such a variety of out-works and lines of circumval- 
lation. A female who is thus invested in whale-bone is 
sufficiently secured against the approaches of an ill-bred 
fellow, who might as well think of Sir George Etherege's 
way of making love in a tub, as in the midst of so many 

"Among these various conjectures, there are men of su- 
perstitious tempers, who look upon the hoop petticoat as 
a kind of prodigy. Some will have it that it portends the 
downfall of the French king, and observe that the farth- 
ingale appeared in England a little before the ruin of 
the Spanish monarchy. Others are of opinion that it 
foretells battle and bloodshed, and believe it of the same 
prognostication as the tail of a blazing star. For my 
part, I am apt to think it is a sign that multitudes are 
coming into the world rather than going out of it. 

"The first time I saw a lady dressed in one of these 
petticoats, I could not forbear blaming her in my own 
thoughts for walking abroad when she was so near her 


time, but soon recovered myself out of my error, when I 
found all the modish part of the sex as far gone as herself. 
It is generally thought some crafty women have thus be- 
trayed their companions into hoops, that they might make 
them accessory to their own concealments, and by that 
means escape the censure of the world; as wary generals 
have sometimes dressed two or three dozen of their friends 
in their own habit, that they might not draw upon them- 
selves any particular attacks of the enemy. The strutting 
petticoat smooths all distinctions, levels the mother with 
the daughter, and sets maids and matrons, wives and 
widows, upon the same bottom. In the meanwhile I can- 
not but be troubled to see so many well-shaped innocent 
virgins bloated up, and waddling up and down like big- 
bellied women. 

^^Should this fashion get among the ordinary people, 
our public ways would be so crowded that we should want 
street-room. Several congregations of the best fashion 
find themselves already very much straitened, and if the 
mode increase I wish it may not drive many ordinary 
women into meetings and conventicles. Should our sex 
at the same time take it into their heads to wear trunk 
breeches (as who knows what their indignation at this 
female treatment may drive them to), a man and his wife 
would fill a whole pew. 

"You know, sir, it is recorded of Alexander the Great, 
that in his Indian expedition he buried several suits of 
armor, which by his direction were made much too big for 
any of his soldiers, in order to give posterity an extraor- 
dinary idea of him, and make them believe he had com- 
manded an army of giants. I am persuaded that if one 
of the present petticoats happen to be hung up in any 
repository of curiosities, it wiU lead into the same error 
the generations that lie some removes from us: unless 
we can believe our posterity will think so disrespectfully 
of their great-grandmothers, that they made themselves 
monstrous to appear amiable. 

"When I survey this new-fashioned rotonda in all its 


parts, I cannot but think of the old philosopher, who after 
having entered into an Egyptian temple, and looked about 
for the idol of the place, at length discovered a little black 
monkey enshrined in the midst of it, upon which he could 
not forbear crying out (to the great scandal of the wor- 
shipers), what a magnificent palace is here for such a 
ridiculous inhabitant! 

"Though you have taken a resolution, in one of your 
papers, to avoid descending to particularities of dress, I 
believe you will not think it below you, on so extraor- 
dinary an occasion, to unhoop the fair sex, and cure this 
fashionable tympany that is got among them. I am apt 
to think the petticoat will shrink of its own accord at 
your first coming to town; at least a touch of your pen 
will make it contract itself, like the sensitive plant, and 
by that means oblige several who are either terrified or 
astonished at this portentous novelty, and among the rest, 

"Your humble Servant, &c ." 


[Spectator No. 130. Monday, July 30, 1711. Addison.} 

-Semperque recentes 

Convectare juvat praedas, et vivere rapto.* 

— ^Vebqil. 

As I was yesterday riding out in the fields with my 
friend Sir Eoger, we saw at a little distance from us a 
troop of gipsies. Upon the first discovery of them, my 
friend was in some doubt whether he should not exert 
the justice of the peace upon such a band of lawless 
vagrants; but not having his clerk with him, who is a 
necessary counselor on these occasions, and fearing that 
his poultry might fare the worse for it, he let the thought 
drop; but at the same time gave me a particular account 
of the mischiefs they do in the country, in stealing peo- 

* "A plundering race, stiU eager to invade, 
On spoil they live, and make of theft a trade." 


ple^s goods and spoiling their servants. "If a stray piece 
of linen hangs upon an hedge," says Sir Eoger, "they are 
sure to have it; if the hog loses his way in the fields, it 
is ten to one but he becomes their prey; our geese cannot 
live in peace for them; if a man prosecutes them with 
severity, his hen-roost is sure to pay for it. They gen- 
erally straggle into these parts about this time of the 
year, and set the heads of our servant-maids so agog for 
husbands that we do not expect to have any business done 
as it should be whilst they are in the country. I have an 
honest dairy-maid who crosses their hands with a piece 
of silver every summer, and never fails being promised 
the handsomest young fellow in the parish for her pains. 
Your friend, the butler, has been fool enough to be 
seduced by them; and, though he is sure to lose a knife, 
a fork, or a spoon every time his fortune is told him, 
generally shuts himself up in the pantry with an old gipsy 
for above half an hour once in a twelvemonth. Sweet- 
hearts are the things they live upon, which they bestow 
very plentifully upon all those that apply themselves to 
them. You see, now and then, some handsome young 
jades among them; the sluts have very often white teeth 
and black eyes." 

Sir Eoger, observing that I listened with great atten- 
tion to his account of a people who were so entirely new 
to me, told me that if I would they should tell us our 
fortunes. As I was very well pleased with the knight's 
proposal, we rid up and communicated our hands to them. 
A Cassandra of the crew, after having examined my lines 
very diligently, told me that I loved a pretty maid in a 
corner ; that I was a good woman's man ; with some other 
particulars which I do not think proper to relate. My 
friend Sir Eoger alighted from his horse, and exposing 
his palm to two or three that stood by him, they crumpled 
it into all shapes, and diligently scanned every wrinkle 
that could be made in it; when one of them, who was 
older and more sunburnt than the rest, told him that he 
had a widow in his line of life; upon which the knight 


cried, "Go, go, you are an idle baggage" ; and at the same 
time smiled upon me. The gipsy, finding he was not 
displeased in his heart, told him, after a farther inquiry 
into his hand, that his true love was constant, and that 
she should dream of him to-night; my old friend cried 
"Pish!" and bid her go on. The gipsy told him that he 
was a bachelor, but would not be so long; and that he 
was dearer to somebody than he thought. The knight still 
repeated she was an idle baggage, and bid her go on. 
"Ah, master," says the gipsy, "that roguish leer of yours 
makes a pretty woman's heart ache; you ha'n't that simper 
about the mouth for nothing — ." The uncouth gibberish 
with which all this was uttered, like the darkness of an 
oracle, made us the more attentive to it. To be sure, the 
knight left the money with her that he had crossed her 
hand with, and got up again on his horse. 

As we were riding away. Sir Roger told me that he 
knew several sensible people who believed these gipsies 
now and then foretold very strange things; and for half 
an hour together appeared more jocund than ordinary. 
In the height of his good humor, meeting a common beg- 
gar upon the road who was no conjurer, as he went to 
relieve him he found his pocket was picked, — ^that being 
a kind of palmistry at which this race of vermin are very 

I might here entertain my reader with historical re- 
marks on this idle, profligate people, who infest all the 
countries of Europe, and live in the midst of governments 
in a kind of commonwealth by themselves. But instead 
of entering into observations of this nature, I shall fill 
the remaining part of my paper with a story which is still 
fresh in Holland, and was printed in one of our monthly 
accounts about twenty years ago: — 

"As the treJcschuytj or hackney boat, which carries pas- 
sengers from Leyden to Amsterdam, was putting off, a 
boy running along the side of the canal desired to be 
taken in; which the master of the boat refused, because 


the lad had not quite money enough to pay the usual 
fare. An eminent merchant being pleased with the looks 
of the boy, and secretly touched with compassion towards 
him, paid the money for him, and ordered him to be taken 
on board. 

"Upon talking with him afterward, he found that he 
could speak readily in three or four languages, and learned 
upon farther examination that he had been stolen away 
when he was a child, by a gipsy, and had rambled ever 
since with a gang of those strollers up and down several 
parts of Europe. It happened that the merchant, whose 
heart seems to have inclined toward the boy by a secret 
kind of instinct, had himself lost a child some years 
before. The parents, after a long search for him, gave 
him for drowned in one of the canals with which that 
country abounds; and the mother was so afflicted at the 
loss of a fine boy, who was her only son, that she died 
for grief of it. 

^'Upon laying together all particulars, and examining 
the several moles and marks by which the mother used 
to describe the child when he was first missing, the boy 
proved to be the son of the merchant whose heart had 
so unaccountably melted at the sight of him. The lad 
was very well pleased to find a father who was so rich, 
and likely to leave him a good estate: the father, on the 
other hand, was not a little delighted to see a son return 
to him, whom he Tiad given up for lost, with such a 
strength of constitution, 'sharpness of understanding, 
and skill in languages." 

Here the printed story leaves off; but if I may give 
credit to reports, our linguist having received such ex- 
traordinary rudiments towards a good education, was 
afterward trained up in everything that becomes a gentle- 
man; wearing off by little and little all the vicious habits 
and practises that he had been used to in the course of his 
peregrinations. Nay, it is said that he has since been 
employed in foreign courts upon national business, with 


great reputation to himself and honor to those who sent 
him, and that he has visited several countries as a public 
minister in which he formerly wandered as a gipsy. 


[Spectator No. 131. Tuesday, July 31, 1711. Addison.] 

Ipsae rursum concedite sylvae.* 

— ^Vergil. 

It is usual for a man who loves country sports to pre- 
serve the game in his own grounds, and divert himself 
upon those that belong to his neighbor. My friend Sir 
Eoger generally goes two or three miles from his house, 
and gets into the frontiers of his estate, before he beats 
about in search of a hare or partridge, on purpose to 
spare his own fields, where he is always sure of finding 
diversion when the worst comes to the worst. By this 
means the breed about his house has time to increase 
and multiply; besides that the sport is the more agree- 
able where the game is the harder to come at, and where 
it does not lie so thick as to produce any perplexity or 
confusion in the pursuit. For these reasons the country 
gentleman, like the fox, seldom preys near his own home. 

In the same manner I have made a month's excursion 
out of the town, which is the great field of game for 
sportsmen of my species, to try my fortune in the country, 
where I have started several subjects and hunted them 
down, with some pleasure to myself, and I hope to others. 
I am here forced to use a great deal of diligence before 
I can spring anything to my mind; whereas in town, 
whilst I am following one character, it is ten to one but 
I am crossed in my way by another, and put up such a 
variety of odd creatures in both sexes that they foil the 
scent of one another, and puzzle the chase. My greatest 
difficulty in the country is to find sport, and, in town, 

> "Once more, ye woods, adieu." 


to choose it. In the meantime, as I have given a whole 
month's rest to the cities of London and Westminster, I 
promise myself abundance of new game upon my return 

It is indeed high time for me to leave the country, since 
I find the whole neighborhood begin to grow very inquisi- 
tive after my name and character; my love of solitude, 
taciturnity, and particular way of life, having raised a 
great curiosity in all these parts. 

The notions which have been framed of me are various : 
some look upon me as very proud, some as very modest, 
and some as very melancholy. Will Wimble, as my friend 
the butler tells me, observing me very much alone, and 
extremely silent when I am in company, is afraid I have 
killed a man. The country people seem to suspect me for 
a conjurer; and, some of them hearing of the visit which I 
made to Moll White, will needs have it that Sir Roger has 
brought down a cunning man with him, to cure the old 
woman, and free the country from her charms. So that 
the character which I go under in part of the neighbor- 
hood, is what they here call a 'White Witch," 

A justice of peace, who lives about five miles off, and 
is not of Sir Roger's party, has, it seems, said twice or 
thrice at his table that he wishes Sir Eoger does not 
harbor a Jesuit in his house, and that he thinks the 
gentlemen of the country would do very well to make me 
give some account of myself. 

On the other side, some of Sir Roger's friends are 
afraid the old knight is imposed upon by a designing 
fellow, and as they have heard that he converses very 
promiscuously, when he is in town, do not know but he 
has brought down with him some discarded Whig, that 
is sullen and says nothing because he is out of place. 

Such is the variety of opinions which are here enter- 
tained of me, so that I pass among some for a disaffected 
person, and among others for a popish priest; among some 
for a wizard, and among others for a murderer: and all 
this for no other reason, that I can imagine, but because 


I do not hoot and hollow and make a noise. It is true 
my friend Sir Roger tells them, that it is my way, and 
that I am only a philosopher; but this will not satisfy 
them. They think there is more in me than he discovers, 
and that I do not hold my tongue for nothing. 

For these and other reasons I shall set out for London 
to-morrow, having found by experience that the country 
is not a place for a person of my temper, who does not 
love jollity, and what they call good neighborhood. . A 
man that is out of humor when an unexpected guest 
breaks in upon him, and does not care for sacriiScing an 
afternoon to every chance-comer; that will be the master 
of his own time, and the pursuer of his own inclinations, 
makes but a very unsociable figure in this kind of life. 
I shall therefore retire into the town, if I may make use 
of that phrase, and get into the crowd again as fast as 
I can, in order to be alone. I can there raise what specu- 
lations I please upon others, without being observed my- 
self, and at the same time enjoy all the advantages of 
company with all the privileges of solitude. In the mean- 
while, to finish the month, and conclude these my rural 
speculations, I shall here insert a letter from my friend 
Will Honeycomb, who has not lived a month for these 
forty years out of the smoke of London, and rallies me 
after his way upon my country life. 

^^Dear Spec, — 

I suppose this letter will find thee picking of daisies, or 
smelling to a lock of hay, or passing away thy time in 
some innocent country diversion of the like nature. I 
have, however, orders from the club to summon thee up 
to town, being all of us cursedly afraid thou wilt not be 
able to relish our company after thy conversations with 
Moll White and Will Wimble. Pr'ythee don't send us 
up any more stories of a cock and a bull, nor frighten the 
town with spirits and witches. Thy speculations begin to 
smell confoundedly of woods and meadows. If thou dost 
not come up quickly, we shall conclude that thou art in 


love with one of Sir Roger's dairy-maids. Service to 
the night. Sir Andrew is grown the cock of the club 
since he left us, and if he does not return quickly will 
make every mother's son of us commonwealth's men. 
"Dear Spec, thine eternally, 
C. "Will Honeycomb." 

[Spectator No. 132. Wednesday, August 1, 1711. 

Qui aut tempus quid postulet non videt, aut plura loquitur, 
aut se ostentat, aut eorum quibuscum est rationem non habet, 
is ineptus esse dicitur.* — Tully. 

Having notified to my good friend Sir Roger that I 
should set out for London the next day, his horses were 
ready at the appointed hour in the evening; and attended 
by one of his grooms, I arrived at the country-town at 
twilight, in order to be ready for the stage-coach the day 
following. As soon as we arrived at the inn, the servant 
who waited upon me, inquired of the chamberlain, in my 
hearing, what company he had for the coach. The fellow 
answered, "Mrs. Betty Arable, the great fortune, and the 
widow, her mother; a recruiting officer (who took a place 
because they were to go) ; young Squire Quickset, her 
cousin (that her mother wished her to be married to) ; 
Ephraim, the Quaker, her guardian ; and a gentleman that 
had studied himself dumb from Sir Roger de Coverley's." 
I observed, by what he said of myseK, that according to 
his office, he dealt much in intelligence ; and doubted not 
but there was some foundation for his reports of the rest 
of the company as well as for the whimsical account he 
gave of me. 

The next morning at daybreak we were all called; and 

* **That man may be caUed impertinent, who considers not the 
circumstances of time, or engrosses the conversation, or makes 
himself the subject of his discourse, or pays no regard to the 
company he is in." 


I, who know my own natural shyness, and endeavor to be 
as little liable to be disputed with as possible, dressed 
immediately, that I might make no one wait. The first 
preparation for our setting out was, that the captain^s 
half-pike was placed near the coachman, and a drum 
behind the coach. In the meantime the drummer, the 
captain's equipage, was very loud that none of the cap- 
tain's things should be placed so as to be spoiled; upon 
which his cloak bag was fixed in the seat of the coach; 
and the captain himself, according to a frequent though 
invidious behavior of military men, ordered his man to 
look sharp that none but one of the ladies should have the 
place he had taken fronting to the coach-box. 

We were in some little time fixed in our seats, and sat 
with that dislike which people not too good-natured usually 
conceive of each other at first sight. The coach jumbled 
us insensibly into some sort of familiarity, and we had not 
moved above two miles when the widow asked the captain 
what success he had in his recruiting. The officer, with a 
frankness he believed very graceful, told her that indeed 
he had but very little luck and had suffered much by 
desertion, therefore should be glad to end his warfare 
in the service of her or her fair daughter. ^T.n sl word," 
continued he, ^^I am a soldier, and to be plain is my char- 
acter; you see me, madam, young, sound, and impudent; 
take me yourself, widow, or give me to her; I will be 
wholly at your disposal. I am a soldier of fortune, ha!" 
This was followed by a vain laugh of his own, and a deep 
silence of all the rest of the company. I had nothing 
left for it but to fall fast asleep, which I did with all 
speed. ^^Come," said he, ^^resolve upon it, we will make 
a wedding at the next town; we will wake this pleasant 
companion who has fallen asleep, to be the brideman, 
and," giving the Quaker a clap on the knee, he concluded, 
^'this sly saint, who, I'll warrant, understands what's what 
as well as you or I, widow, shall give the bride as father." 

The Quaker, who happened to be a man of smartness, 
answered, "Friend, I take it in good part, that thou hast 


given me the authority of a father over this comely and 
virtuous child; and I must assure thee that, if I have the 
giving her, I shall not bestow her on thee. Thy mirth, 
friend, savoreth of folly ; thou art a person of a light mind ; 
thy drum is a type of thee — it soundeth because it is 
empty. Yerily, it is not from thy fulness but thy empti- 
ness that thou hast spoken this day. Eriend, friend, we 
have hired this coach in partnership with thee, to carry 
us to a great city; we cannot go any other way. This 
worthy mother must hear thee if thou wilt needs utter 
thy follies ; we cannot help it, friend, I say — if thou wilt, 
we must hear thee; but, if thou wert a man of under- 
standing, thou wouldst not take advantage of thy coura- 
geous countenance to abash us children of peace. Thou 
art, thou say est, a soldier; give quarter to us, who cannot 
resist thee. Why didst thou fleer at our friend, who 
feigned himself asleep? He said nothing, but how dost 
thou know what he containeth? If thou speakest im- 
proper things in the hearing of this virtuous young virgin, 
consider it is an outrage against a distressed person that 
cannot get from thee: to speak indiscreetly what we are 
obliged to hear, by being hasped up with thee in this 
public vehicle, is in some degree assaulting on the high 

Here Ephraim paused, and the captain, with an happy 
and uncommon impudence, which can be convicted and 
support itself at the same time, cries, "Faith, friend, I 
thank thee; I should have been a little impertinent if 
thou hadst not reprimanded me. Come, thou art, I see, 
a smoky old fellow, and PU be very orderly the ensuing 
part of the journey. I was going to give myself airs, 
but, ladies, I beg pardon." 

The captain was so little out of humor, and our com- 
pany was so far from being soured by this little ruffle, 
that Ephraim and he took a particular delight in being 
agreeable to each other for the future, and assumed their 
different provinces in the conduct of the company. Our 
reckonings, apartments, and accommodation fell under 


Epiiraim; and the captain looked to all disputes on the 
road, as the good behavior of our coachman, and the right 
we had of taking place, as going to London, of all 
vehicles coming from thence. 

The occurrences we met with were ordinary, and very 
little happened which could entertain by the relation of 
them; but when I considered the company we were in, 
I took it for no small good fortune that the whole journey 
was not spent in impertinences, which to one part of us 
might be an entertainment, to the other a suffering. 

What, therefore, Ephraim said when we were almost 
arrived at London, had to me an air not only of good 
understanding but good breeding. Upon the young lady's 
expressing her satisfaction in the journey, and declaring 
how delightful it had been to her, Ephraim declared him- 
self as follows : ^^There is no ordinary part of human life 
which expresseth so much a good mind, and a right in- 
ward man, as his behavior upon meeting with strangers, 
especially such as may seem the most unsuitable com- 
panions to him; such a man, when he falleth in the way 
with persons of simplicity and innocence, however know- 
ing he may be in the ways of men, will not vaunt himself 
thereof; but will the rather hide his superiority to them, 
that he may not be painful unto them. My good friend," 
continued he, turning to the officer, "thee and I are to 
part by and by, and peradventure we may never meet 
again ; but be advised by a plain man : modes and apparel 
are but trifles to the real man, therefore do not think 
such a man as thyself terrible for thy garb, nor such a 
one as me contemptible for mine. When two such as 
thee and I meet, with affections as we ought to have 
toward each other, thou shouldst rejoice to see my peace- 
able demeanor, and I should be glad to see thy strength 
and ability to protect me in it," T. 


[Spectator No. 135. Saturday, August 4, 1711. 


Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia.* — HoB. 

I have somewhere read of an eminent person, who used 
in his private offices of devotion to give thanks to heaven 
that he was born a Frenchman: for my own part I look 
upon it as a peculiar blessing that I was born an English- 
man. Among many other reasons, I think myself very 
happy in my country, as the language of it is wonderfully 
adapted to a man who is sparing of his words, and an 
enemy to loquacity. 

As I have frequently reflected on my good fortune in 
this particular, I shall communicate to the public my 
speculations upon the English tongue, not doubting but 
they will be acceptable to all my curious readers. 

The English delight in silence more than any other 
European nation, if the remarks which are made on us 
by foreigners are true. Our discourse is not kept up in 
conversation, but falls into more pauses and intervals 
than in our neighboring countries; as it is observed, that 
the matter of our writings is thrown much closer to- 
gether, and lies in a narrower compass than is usual in the 
works of foreign authors : for, to favor our natural taci- 
turnity, when we are obliged to utter our thoughts, we 
do it in the shortest way we are able, and give as quick a 
birth to our conceptions as possible. 

This humor shows itself in several remarks that we 
may make upon the English language. As first of all by 
its abounding in monosyllables, which gives us an op- 
portunity of delivering our thoughts in few sounds. This 
indeed takes off from the elegance of our tongue, but at 
the same time expresses our ideas in the readiest man- 
ner, and consequently answers the first design of speech 
better than the multitude of syllables, which make the 
words of other languages more tuneable and sonorous. 

* Express your sentiments with brevity. 


The sounds of our English words are commonly like those 
of string music, short and transient, which rise and per- 
ish upon a single touch; those of other languages are 
like the notes of wind instruments, sweet and swelling, 
and lengthened out into variety of modulation. 

In the next place we may observe, that where the words 
are not monosyllables, we often make them so, as much 
as lies in our power, by our rapidity of pronunciation; 
as it generally happens in most of our long words which 
are derived from the Latin, where we contract the length 
of the syllables that gives them a grave and solemn air 
in their own language, to make them more proper for 
dispatch, and more comfortable to the genius of our 
tongue. This we may find in a multitude of words, as 
"liberty," "conspiracy," "theater," "orator," etc. 

The same natural aversion to loquacity has of late 
years made a very considerable alteration in our lan- 
guage, by closing in one syllable the termination of our 
preterperfect tense, as in the words "drown'd," "walk'd," 
"arriVd," for "drowned," "walked," "arrived," which has 
very much disfigured the tongue, and turned a tenth part 
of our smoothest words into so many clusters of con- 
sonants. This is the more remarkable, because the want 
of vowels in our language has been the general complaint 
of our politest authors, who nevertheless are the men 
that have made these retrenchments, and consequently 
very much increased our former scarcity. 

This reflexion on the words that end in "ed," I have 
heard in conversation from one of the greatest geniuses 
this age has produced. I think we may add to the fore- 
going observation, the change which has happened in our 
language, by the abbreviation of several words that are 
terminated in "eth," by substituting an "s" in the room 
of the last syllable, as in "drowns," "walks," "arrives," 
and innumerable other words, which in the pronunciation 
of our forefathers were "drowneth," "walketh," "arriv- 
eth." This has wonderfully multiplied a letter which was 
before too frequent in the English tongue, and added to 


that hissing in our language, which is taken so much no- 
tice of by foreigners; but at the same time humors our 
taciturnity, and eases us of many superfluous syllables. 

I might here observe, that the same single letter on 
many occasions does the office of a whole word, and rep- 
resents the "his'' and "her" of our forefathers. There is 
no doubt but the ear of a foreigner, which is the best 
judge in this case, would very much disapprove of such 
innovations, which indeed we do ourselves in some meas- 
ure, by retaining the old termination in writing, and in 
all the solemn offices of our religion. 

As in the instances I have given we have epitomized 
many of our particular words to the detriment of our 
tongue, so on other occasions we have drawn two words 
into one, which has likewise very much untuned our lan- 
guage, and clogged it with consonants, as "mayn't," 
"can't," ''shan't," "won't," and the like, for "may not," 
"can not," "shall not," "will not," etc. 

It is perhaps this humor of speaking no more than 
we needs must, which has so miserably curtailed some of 
our words, that in familiar writings and conversations 
they often lose all but their first syllables, as in "mob," 
"rep." "pos." "incog." and the like; and as all ridiculous 
words make their first entry into a language by familiar 
phrases, I dare not answer for these that they will not 
in time be looked upon as a part of our tongue. We see 
some of our poets have been so indiscreet as to imitate 
Hudibras's doggerel expressions in their serious compo- 
sitions, by throwing out the signs of our substantives, 
which are essential to the English language. Nay, this 
humor of shortening our language had once run so far, 
that some of our celebrated authors, among whom we may 
reckon Sir Eoger L'Estrange in particular, began to 
prune their words of all superfluous letters, as they 
termed them, in o.rder to adjust the spelling to the pro- 
nunciation; which would have confounded all our ety- 
mologies, and have quite destroyed our tongue. 

We may here likewise observe, that our proper names, 


when familiarized in English, generally dwindle to mono- 
syllables, whereas in other modern languages, they re- 
ceive a softer turn on this occasion, by the addition of 
a new syllable. ^^Nick" in Italian is ^^Nicolini," "Jack" 
in French "Janot," and so of the rest. 

There is another particular in our language which is 
a great instance of our frugality in words, and that is 
the suppressing of several particles which must be pro- 
duced in other tongues to make a sentence intelligible: 
this often perplexes the best writers, when they find the 
relatives "whom," "which," or "they," at their mercy 
whether they may have admission or not; and will never 
be decided till we have something like an academy, that 
by the best authorities and rules drawn from the analogy 
of languages, shall settle all controversies between gram- 
mar and idiom. 

I have only considered our language as it shows the 
genius and natural temper of the English, which is mod- 
est, thoughtful and sincere, and which perhaps may recom- 
mend the people, though it has spoiled the tongue. We 
might perhaps carry the same thought into other lan- 
guages, and deduce a great part of what is peculiar to 
them from the genius of the people who speak them. It 
is certain the light talkative humor of the French has 
not a little infected their tongue, which might be shown 
by many instances ; as the genius of the Italians, which is 
so much addicted to music and ceremony, has molded all 
their words and phrases to those particular uses. The 
stateliness and gravity of the Spaniards shows itself to 
perfection in the solemnity of their language; and the 
blunt honest humor of the Germans sounds better in the 
roughness of the High-Dutch, than it would in a politer 


[Spectator No. 169. Saturday, September 1, 1711. 

— Omnem, quae nunc obducta tuenti 

Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et bumida circum 

Caligat, nubem eripiam — * 

— ViRG. ^n. ii. 604. 

When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several Ori- 
ental manuscripts, wbich I have still by me. Among oth- 
ers I met with one entitled The Visions of Mirza, which 
I have read over with great pleasure. I intend to give it 
to the public when I have no other entertainment for 
them; and shall begin with the first vision, which I have 
translated word for word as follows: — 

"On the fifth day of the moon, which according to the 
custom of my forefathers I always keep holy, after hav- 
ing washed myself, and offered up my morning devo- 
tions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdad, in order to 
pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I 
was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I 
fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of hu- 
man life; and passing from one thought to another, 
^Surely,' said I, ^man is but a shadow, and life a dream.' 
Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the 
summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I dis- 
covered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a musical 
instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him he ap- 
plied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The 
sound of it was exceedingly sweet, and wrought into a 
variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and 
altogether different from anything I had ever heard. They 
put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played 
to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival 
in Paradise, to wear out the impressions of their last 

*The cloud, which, intercepting the clear light, 
Hangs o'er thy eyes, and blunts thy mortal sight, 
I will remove — 


agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy 
place. My heart melted away in secret raptures. 

"I had been often told that the rock before me was the 
haunt of a Genius; and that several had been entertained 
with music who had passed by it, but never heard that 
the musician had before made himself visible. When he 
had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which 
he played to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I 
looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, 
and by the waving of his hand directed me to approach 
the place where he sat. I drew near with that reverence 
which is due to a superior nature; and as my heart was 
entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I 
fell down at his feet and wept. The Genius smiled upon 
me with a look of compassion and affability that familiar- 
ized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the 
fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. 
He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the 
hand, ^Mirza,' said he, ^I have heard thee in thy solilo- 
quies; follow me.' 

"He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, 
and placing me on the top of it, ^Cast thy eyes eastward,' 
said he, 'and tell me what thou seest.' 'I see,' said I, *a 
huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through 
it.' 'The valley that thou seest,' said he, 'is the Vale of 
Misery, and the tide of water that thou seest is part of 
the great Tide of Eternity.' 'What is the reason,' said 
I, 'that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, 
and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other?' 
'What thou seest,' said he, 'is that portion of eternity 
which is called time, measured out by the sun, and 
reaching from the beginning of the world to its consum- 
mation. Examine now,' said he, 'this sea that is bounded 
with darkn^s at both ends, and tell me what thou dis- 
coverest in it.' 'I see a bridge,' said I, 'standing in the 
midst of the tide.' 'The bridge thou seest,' said he, 'is 
Human Life: consider it attentively.' Upon a more 
leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of three- 


score and ten entire arches, with several broken arches, 
which added to those that were entire, made up the num- 
ber about a hundred. As I was counting the arches, the 
Genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a 
thousand arches; but that a great flood swept away the 
rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now 
beheld it. ^But tell me farther,' said he, Vhat thou dis- 
coverest on it.' 'I see multitudes of people passing over 
it,' said I, ^and a black cloud hanging on each end of it/ 
As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the pas- 
sengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide 
that flowed underneath it; and upon farther examina- 
tion, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay 
concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner 
trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide, and 
immediately disappeared. These hidden pitfalls were set 
very thick at the entrance of the bridge, so that throngs 
of people no sooner broke through the cloud, but many 
of them fell into them. They grew thinner towards the 
middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the 
end of the arches that were entire. 

"There were indeed some persons, but their number 
was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march 
on the broken arches, but fell through one after another, 
being quite tired and spent with so long a walk. 

"I passed some time in the contemplation of this won- 
derful structure, and the great variety of objects which 
it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy 
to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth 
and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them 
to save themselves. Some were looking up towards the 
heavens in a thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a 
speculation stumbled and fell out of sight. Multitudes 
were very busy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in 
their eyes and danced before them; but often when they 
thought themselves within the reach of them, their foot- 
ing failed and down they sunk. In this confusion of ob- 
jects, I observed some with scimitars in their hands, and 


others with urinals, wlio ran to and fro upon the bridge, 
thrusting several persons on trap-doors which did not 
seem to lie in their way, and which they might have es- 
caped had they not been thus forced upon them. 

"The Genius seeing me indulge myself on this melan- 
choly prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it. 
'Take thine eyes off the bridge,' said he, ^and tell me if 
thou yet seest anything thou dost not comprehend.' Upon 
looking up, What mean,' said I, 'those great flights of 
birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and 
settling upon it from time to time? I see vultures, 
harpies, ravens, cormorants, and among many other feath- 
ered creatures several little winged boys, that perch in 
great numbers upon the middle arches/ 'These,' said the 
Genius, 'are Envy, Avarice, Superstition, Despair, Love, 
with the like cares and passions that infest human life.' 

"I here fetched a deep sigh. 'Alas,' said I, 'Man was 
made in vain! how is he given away to misery and mor- 
tality! tortured in life, and swallowed up in death!' The 
Genius being moved with compassion towards me, bid me 
quit so uncomfortable a prospect. 'Look no more,' said 
he, 'on man in the first stage of his existence, in his set- 
ting out for eternity ; but cast thine eye on that thick mist 
into which the tide bears the several generations of mor- 
tals that fall into it.' I directed my sight as I was or- 
dered, and (whether or no the good Genius strengthened 
it with any supernatural force, or dissipated part of the 
mist that was before too thick for the eye to penetrate) 
I saw the valley opening at the farther end, and spread- 
ing forth into an immense ocean, that had a huge rock 
of adamant running through the midst of it, and divid- 
ing it into two equal parts. The clouds still rested on one 
half of it, insomuch that I could discover nothing in it; 
but the other appeared to me a vast ocean planted with 
innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and 
flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining 
seas that ran among them. I could see persons dressed 
in glorious habits with garlands upon their heads, pass- 


ing among the trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, 
or resting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused 
harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, 
and musical instruments. Gladness grew in me upon the 
discovery of so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings 
of an eagle, that I might fly away to those happy seats; 
but the Genius told me there was no passage to them, 
except through the gates of death that I saw opening 
every moment upon the bridge. ^The islands,' said he, 
'that lie so fresh and green before thee, and with which 
the whole face of the ocean appears spotted as far as thou 
canst see, are more in number than the sands on the sea- 
shore: there are myriads of islands behind those which 
thou here discoverest, reaching farther than thine eye, 
or even thine imagination can extend itself. These are 
the mansions of good men after death, who, according to- 
the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, 
are distributed among these several islands, which abound 
with pleasures of different kinds and degrees, suitable to 
the relishes and perfections of those who are settled in 
them: every island is a paradise accommodated to its 
respective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirza, habi- 
tations worth contending for? Does life appear miser- 
able that gives thee opportunities of earning such a re- 
ward? Is death to be feared that will convey thee to so 
happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain, 
who has such an eternity reserved for him.' I gazed with 
inexpressible pleasure on these happy islands. At length, 
said I, 'Show me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie 
hid under those dark clouds which cover the ocean on the 
other side of the rock of adamant.' The Genius making 
me no answer, I turned me about to address myself to him 
a second time, but I found that he had left me; I then 
turned again to the vision which I had been so long con- 
templating; but instead of the rolling tide, the arched 
bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the long 
hollow valley of Bagdad, with oxen, sheep, and camels 
grazing upon the sides of it." 0. 


[Spectator No. 165. Saturday, September 8, 1711. 

8i forte necesse est, 
Fingere cinctutis non exavdita Cethegis, 
Contmget: ddbitv/rque licentia sumpta pudenter.^ — Hob. 

I have often -vrislied that, as in our constitution there 
are several persons whose business it is to watch over our 
laws, our liberties and commerce, certain men might be 
set apart as superintendents of our language, to hinder 
any words of a foreign coin from passing among us; and 
in particular to prohibit any French phrases from be- 
coming current in this kingdom, when those of our own 
stamp are altogether as valuable. The present war has 
so adulterated our tongue with strange words that it 
would be impossible for one of our great-grandfathers to 
know what his posterity have been doing, were he to read 
their exploits in a modern newspaper. Our warriors are 
very industrious in propagating the French language, at 
the same time that they are so gloriously successful in 
beating down their power. Our soldiers are men of strong 
heads for action, and perform such feats as they are not 
able to express. They want words in their own tongue to 
tell us what it is they achieve, and therefore send us 
over accounts of their performances in a jargon of 
phrases, which they learn among their conquered ene- 
mies. They ought however to be provided with secreta- 
ries and assisted by our foreign ministers, to tell their 
story for them in plain English, and to let us know in 
our mother-tongue what it is our brave countrymen are 
about. The French would indeed be in the right to pub- 
lish the news of the present war in English phrases, and 
make their campaigns unintelligible. Their people might 
flatter themselves that things are not so bad as they really 

^ If you would unheard-of things express, 

Invent new words ; we can indulge a muse, 
Until the license rise to an abuse. 


are, were they thus palliated with foreign terms, and 
thrown into shades and obscurity : But the English can- 
not be too clear in their narrative of those actions, which 
have raised their country to a higher pitch of glory than 
it ever yet arrived at, and which will be still the more ad- 
mired the better they are explained. 

For my part, by that time a siege is carried on two or 
three days, I am altogether lost and bewildered in it, and 
meet with so many inexplicable difficulties, that I scarce 
know which side has the better of it, till I am informed 
by the Tower guns that the place is surrendered. I do 
indeed make some allowances for this part of the war, for- 
tifications having been foreign inventions, and upon that 
account abounding in foreign terms. But when we have 
won battles which may be described in our own language, 
why are our papers filled with so many unintelligible 
exploits, and the French obliged to lend us a part of their 
tongue before we can know how they are conquered ? They 
must be made accessory to their own disgrace, as the 
Britons were formerly so artificially wrought in the cur- 
tain of the Roman theater, that they seemed to draw it 
up, in order to give the spectators an opportunity of 
seeing their own defeat celebrated upon the stage: for so 
Mr. Dry den has translated that verse in Vergil : 
Atque intertexti tollant aulsea Britanni. 

Which interwoven Britons seem to raise, 

And show the triumph that their shame displays. 

The histories of all our former wars are transmitted to 
us in our vernacular idiom, to use the phrase of a great 
modern critic. I do not find in any of our chronicles, that 
Edward III. ever reconnoitered the enemy, though he 
often discovered the posture of the French, and as often 
vanquished them in battle. The Black Prince passed 
many a river without the help of pontoons, and filled a 
ditch with faggots as successfully as the generals of oui 
times do it with fascines. Our commanders lose half their 
praise, and our people half their joy, by means of those 


hard words and dark expressions in which our news- 
papers do so much abound. I have seen many a prudent 
citizen, after having read every article, inquire of his 
next neighbor what news the mail had brought. 

I remember in that remarkable year when our country 
was delivered from the greatest fears and apprehensions, 
and raised to the greatest height of gladness it had ever 
felt since it was a nation; I mean the year of Blenheim, 
I had the copy of a letter sent me out of the country, 
which was written from a young gentleman in the army 
to his father, a man of a good estate and plain sense: as 
the letter was very modishly chequered with this modem 
military eloquence, I shall present my reader with a copy 
of it. 


*^Upon the junction of the French and Bavarian armies 
they took post behind a great morass which they thought 
impracticable. Our general the next day sent a party of 
horse to reconnoiter them from a little hauteur, at about 
a quarter of an hour's distance from the army, who re- 
turned again to the camp unobserved through several de- 
files, in one of which they met with a party of French 
that had been marauding, and made them all prisoners 
at discretion. The day after a drum arrived at our camp, 
with a message which he would communicate to none but 
the general; he was followed by a trumpet, who they say 
behaved himself very saucily, with a message from the 
duke of Bavaria. The next morning our army being di- 
vided into two corps, made a movement towards the 
enemy: you will hear in the public prints how we treated 
them, with the other circumstances of that glorious day. 
I had the good fortune to be in the regiment that pushed 
the Gens d'Arms. Several French battalions, who some 
say were a corps de reserve, made a show of resistance; 
but it only proved a gasconade, for upon our preparing 
to fill up a little fosse, in order to attack them, they beat 
the chamade, and sent us chart e blanche. Their com- 


mandant, with a great many other general officers, and 
troops without number, are made prisoners of war, and 
will I believe give you a visit in England, the cartel not 
being yet settled. Not questioning but these particulars 
will be very welcome to you, I congratulate you upon 
them, and am your most dutiful son," etc. 

The father of the young gentleman upon the perusal 
of the letter found it contained great news, but could not 
guess what it was. He immediately communicated it to 
the curate of the parish, who upon the reading of it, being 
vexed to see anything he could not understand, fell into 
a kind of passion, and told him, that his son had sent 
him a letter that was neither fish, flesh, nor good red- 
herring. "I wish," says he, "the captain may be compos 
mentis, he talks of a saucy trumpet, and a drum that car- 
ries messages; then who is this Charte Blanche? He 
must either banter us, or he is out of his senses." The 
father, who always looked upon the curate as a learned 
man, began to fret inwardly at his son's usage, and pro- 
ducing a letter which he had written to him about three 
posts afore, "You see here," says he, ^Vhen he writes for 
money, he knows how to speak intelligibly enough; there 
is no man in England can express himself clearer, when 
he wants a new furniture for his horse." In short, the 
old man was so puzzled upon the point, that it might 
have fared ill with his son, had he not seen all the prints 
about three days after filled with the same terms of art, 
and that Charles only writ like other men. 

[Spectator No. 170. FRmAY, September 14, 1711. 

In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: injurisB, 

Suspiciones, inimicitise, induciae, 

Bellum, pax rursum * — Teb. Eun. 

Upon looking over the letters of my female correspond- 
ents, I find several from women complaining of jealous 

* In love are all these ills : suspicions, quarrels. 
Wrongs, reconcilements, war and peace again. 


husbands, and at the same time protesting their own in- 
nocence; and desiring my advice on this occasion. I 
shall, therefore, take this subject into my consideration, 
and the more willingly because I find that the Marquis 
of Halifax, who, in his Advice to a Daughter, has in- 
structed a wife how to behave herself towards a false, an 
intemperate, a choleric, a sullen, a covetous, or a silly 
husband, has not spoken one word of a jealous husband. 

Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the ap- 
prehension that he is not equally beloved by the person 
whom he entirely loves. Now, because our inward pas- 
sions and inclinations can never make themselves visible, 
it is impossible for a jealous man to be thoroughly cured 
of his suspicions. His thoughts hang at best in a state 
of doubtfulness and uncertainty; and are never capable 
of receiving any satisfaction on the advantageous side; 
so that his inquiries are most successful when they dis- 
cover nothing: his pleasure arises from his disappoint* 
ments, and his life is spent in pursuit of a secret that 
destroys his happiness if he chance to find it. 

An ardent love is always a strong ingredient in this 
passion; for the same affection which stirs up the jealous 
man's desires, and gives the party beloved so beautiful a 
figure in his imagination, makes him believe she kindles 
the same passion in others, and appears as amiable to all 
beholders. And as jealousy thus arises from an extraor- 
dinary love, it is of so delicate a nature, that it scorns 
to take up with anything less than an equal return of 
love. Not the warmest expressions of affection, the soft- 
est and most tender hypocrisy, are able to give any sat- 
isfaction, where we are not persuaded that the affection 
is real and the satisfaction mutual. For the jealous man 
wishes himself a kind of deity to the person he loves: 
he would be the only pleasure of her senses, the employ- 
ment of her thoughts ; and is angry at everything she ad- 
mires, or takes delight in, besides himself. 

Phaedria's request to his mistress, upon his leaving her 
for three days, is inimitably beautiful and natural. 


Cum milite isto praesens, absens ut sies: 
Dies, noctesque me ames: me desideres: 
Me somnies: me exspectes: de me cogites: 
Me speres: me te oblectes: mecum tota sis: 
Meus fae sis postremo animus, quando ego sum tuus. 

— Teb. Eun.^ 

The jealous man^s disease is of so malignant a nature, 
that it converts all he takes into its own nourishment. A 
cool behavior sets him on the rack, and is interpreted as 
an instance of aversion or indifference; a fond one raises 
his suspicions, and looks too much like dissimulation and 
artifice. If the person he loves be cheerful, her thoughts 
must be employed on another; and if sad, she is certainly 
thinking on himself. In short, there is no word or ges- 
ture so insignificant, but it gives him new hints, feeds 
his suspicions, and furnishes him with fresh matters of 
discovery: so that if we consider the effects of this pas- 
sion, one would rather think it proceeded from an invet- 
erate hatred than an excessive love; for certainly none 
can meet with more disquietude and uneasiness than a 
suspected wife, if we except the jealous husband. 

But the great unhappiness of this passion is, that it 
naturally tends to alienate the affection which it is so 
solicitous to engross; and that for these two reasons, be- 
cause it lays too great a constraint on the words and 
actions of the suspected person, and at the same time 
shews you have no honorable opinion of her; both of 
which are strong motives to aversion. 

Nor is this the worst effect of jealousy; for it often 
draws after it a more fatal train of consequences, and 
makes the person you suspect guilty of the very crimes 
you are so much afraid of. It is very natural for such 
who are treated ill and upbraided falsely, to find out an 
intimate friend that will hear their complaints, condole 

* When you are in company with that soldier, behave as if you 
were absent ; but continue to love me by day and by night : want 
me ; dream of me ; expect me ; think of me ; wish for me ; delight 
in me ; be wholly with me : in short, be my very soul, as I am 


their sufferings, and endeavor to soothe and assuage their 
secret resentments. Besides, jealousy puts a woman often 
in mind of an ill thing that she would not otherwise, 
perhaps, have thought of, and fills her imagination with 
such an unlucky idea, as in time grows familiar, excites 
desire, and loses all the shame and horror which might 
at first attend it. Nor is it a wonder if she who suffers 
wrongfully in a man^s opinion of her, and has, therefore, 
nothing to forfeit in his esteem, resolves to give him 
reason for his suspicions, and to enjoy the pleasure of 
the crime, since she must undergo the ignominy. Such 
probably were the considerations that directed the wise 
man in his advice to husbands: "Be not jealous over 
the wife of thy bosom, and teach her not an evil lesson 
against thyseK." ^ 

And here, among the other torments which this pas- 
sion produces, we may usually observe that none are 
greater mourners than jealous men, when the person 
who provoked their jealousy is taken from them. Then 
it is that their love breaks out furiously, and throws off 
all the mixtures of suspicion which choked and smothered 
it before. The beautiful parts of the character rise up- 
permost in the jealous husband's memory, and upbraid 
him with the ill usage of so divine a creature as was once 
in his possession; whilst all the little imperfections, that 
were before so uneasy to him, wear off from his remem- 
brance, and shew themselves no more. 

We may see by what has been said, that jealousy takes 
the deepest root in men of amorous dispositions; and of 
these we may find three kinds who are most overrim 
with it. 

The first are those who are conscious to themselves of 
an infirmity, whether it be weakness, old age, deformity, 
ignorance, or the like. These men are so well acquainted 
with the unamiable part of themselves, that they have not 
the confidence to think they are really beloved; and are 
so distrustful of their own merits, that all fondness 

lEccls. ix. !.• 


towards them puts them out of countenance, and looks 
like a jest upon their persons. They grow suspicious on 
their first looking in a glass, and are stung with jealousy 
at the sight of a wrinkle. A handsome fellow immedi- 
ately alarms them, and everything that looks young or 
gay turns their thoughts upon their wives. 

A second sort of men, who are most liable to this pas- 
sion, are those of cunning, wary, and distrustful tempers. 
It is a fault very justly found in histories composed by 
politicians, that they leave nothing to chance, or humor, 
but are still for deriving every action from some plot 
and contrivance, for drawing up a perpetual scheme^ of 
causes and events, and preserving a constant correspond- 
ence between the camp and the council-table. And thus 
it happens in the affairs of love with men of too refined 
a thought. They put a construction on a look, and find 
out a design in a smile; they give new senses and sig- 
nifications to words and actions; and are ever tormenting 
themselves with fancies of their own raising: they gen- 
erally act in a disguise themselves, and therefore mistake 
all outward shows and appearances for hypocrisy in oth- 
ers; so that I believe no men see less of the truth and 
reality of things than these great refiners upon inci- 
dents, who are so wonderfully subtle and overwise in their 

Now what these men fancy they know of women by re- 
flection, your lewd and vicious men believe they have 
learned by experience. They have seen the poor husband 
so misled by tricks and artifices, and in the midst of his 
inquiries so lost and bewildered in a crooked intrigue, 
that they still suspect an under-plot in every female ac- 
tion; and especially where they see any resemblance in 
the behavior of two persons, are apt to fancy it proceeds 
from the same design in both. These men, therefore, bear 
hard upon the suspected party, pursue her close through 
all her turnings and windings, and are too well acquainted 
with the chase, to be slung off by any false steps or doub- 
les : besides, their acquaintance and conversation has lain 


wholly among the vicious part of womankind, and there- 
fore it is no wonder they censure all ahke, and look upon 
the whole sex as a species of impostors. But if, notwith- 
standing their private experience, they can get over these 
prejudices, and entertain a favorable opinion of some 
women, yet their own loose desires will stir up new sus- 
picions from another side, and make them believe all men 
subject to the same inclinations with themselves. 

Whether these or other motives are most predominant, 
we learn from the modern histories of America, as well 
as from our own experience in this part of the world, 
that jealousy is no northern passion, but rages most in 
those nations that lie nearest the influence of the sun. 
It is a misfortune for a woman to be born between the 
tropics; for there lie the hottest regions of jealousy, 
which as you come northward cools all along with the 
climate, till you scarce meet with anything like it in the 
polar circle. Our own nation is very temperately situ- 
ated in this respect; and if we meet with some few dis- 
ordered with the violence of this passion, they are not 
the proper growth of our country, but are many degrees 
nearer the sun in their constitutions than in their cli- 

After this frightful account of jealousy, and the per- 
sons who are most subject to it, it will be but fair to shew 
by what means the passion may be best allayed, and 
those who are possessed with it set at ease. Other faults, 
indeed, are not under the wife's jurisdiction, and should, 
if possible, escape her observation ; but jealousy calls upon 
her particularly for its cure, and deser\^es all her art and 
application in the attempt: besides, she has this for her 
encouragement, that her endeavors will be always pleas- 
ing, and that she will still find the affection of her hus- 
band rising towards her in proportion as his doubts and 
suspicions vanish; for, as we have seen all along, there 
is so great a mixture of love in jealousy as is well worth 
separating. But this shall be the subject of another paper. 



[Spectator No. 174. Wednesday, September 19, 1711. 

Haec memini et victum frustra contendere Tliyrsin.^ 

— Yhsjqil, 

There is scarce anything more common than animosi- 
ties between parties that cannot subsist but by their 
agreement: this was well represented in the sedition of 
the members of the human body in the old Roman fable. 
It is often the case of lesser confederate states against 
a superior power, which are hardly held together, though 
their unanimity is necessary for their common safety. 
And this is always the case of the landed and trading in- 
terest of Great Britain : the trader is fed by the product 
of the land, and the landed man cannot be clothed but by 
the skill of the trader; and yet those interests are ever 

We had last winter an instance of this at our club, 
in Sir Roger de Coverley and Sir Andrew Freeport, be- 
tween whom there is generally a constant, though 
friendly, opposition of opinions. It happened that one 
of the company, in an historical discourse, was observing 
that Carthaginian faith was a proverbial phrase to inti- 
mate breach of leagues. Sir Roger said it could hardly 
be otherwise; that '^the Carthaginians were the greatest 
traders in the world, and as gain is the chief end of 
such a people, they never pursue any other, — the means to 
it are never regarded. They will, if it comes easily, get 
money honestly; but if not, they will not scruple to ob- 
tain it by fraud or cozenage. And, indeed, what is the 
whole business of the trader's account, but to overreach 
him who trusts to his memory? But were that not so, 
what can there great and noble be expected from him 
whose attention is forever fixed upon balancing his books, 
and watching over his expenses ? And at best, let f rugal- 

* "The whole debate In memory 1 retain, 

When Thyrsia argued warmly, but in vain." 


ity and parsimony be the virtues of the merchant, how 
much is his punctual dealing below a gentleman's char- 
ity to the poor, or hospitality among his neighbors?" 

Captain Sentry observed Sir Andrew very diligent in 
hearing Sir Eoger, and had a mind to turn the discourse 
by taking notice "in general, from the highest to the low- 
est parts of human society, there was a secret, though un- 
just, way among men of indulging the seeds of ill-nature 
and envy, by comparing their own state of life to that of 
another, and grudging the approach of their neighbor to 
their own happiness. And on the other side, he who is 
the less at his ease, repines at the other who, he thinks, 
has unjustly the advantage over him. Thus the civil and 
military lists look upon each other with much ill-nature: 
the soldier repines at the courtier's power, and the courtier 
rallies the soldier's honor; or, to come to lower instances, 
the private men in the horse and foot of an army, the 
carmen and coachmen in the city streets, mutually look 
upon each other with ill-will, when they are in competi- 
tion for quarters or the way, in their respective motions." 

"It is very well, good captain," interrupted Sir An- 
drew, ^^ou may attempt to turn the discourse if you 
think fit; but I must, however, have a word or two with 
Sir Roger, who, I see, thinks he has paid me off, and been 
very severe upon the merchant. I shall not," continued 
he, ^^at this time remind Sir Eoger of the great and 
noble monuments of charity and public spirit which have 
been erected by merchants since the Reformation, but at 
present content myself with what he allows us — parsimony 
and frugality. If it were consistent with the quality of 
so ancient a baronet as Sir Eoger to keep an account, 
or measure things by the most infallible way, that of 
numbers, he would prefer our parsimony to his hospitality. 
If to drink so many hogsheads is to be hospitable, we do 
not contend for the fame of that virtue; but it would be 
worth while to consider whether so many artificers at work 
ten days together by my appointment, or so many peasants 
made merry on Sir Roger's charge, are the men more 


obliged! I believe the families of the artificers will thank 
me more than the households of the peasants shall Sir 
Eoger. Sir Eoger gives to his men, but I place mine 
above the necessity or obligation of my bounty. I am 
in very little pain for the Eoman proverb upon the Cartha- 
ginian traders; the Romans were their professed enemies. 
I am only sorry that no Carthaginian histories have come 
to our hands ; we might have been taught, perhaps, by them 
some proverbs against the Eoman generosity, in fighting 
for and bestowing other people's goods. But since Sir 
Eoger has taken occasion from an old proverb to be out of 
humor with merchants, it should be no offense to offer one 
not quite so old in their defense. When a man happens to 
break in Holland, they say of him that ^he has not kept 
true accounts.' This phrase, perhaps, among us would 
appear a soft or humorous way of speaking; but with 
that exact nation it bears the highest reproach. For a 
man to be mistaken in the calculation of his expense, in 
his ability to answer future demands, or to be imperti- 
nently sanguine in putting his credit to too great adven- 
ture, are all instances of as much infamy as, with gayer 
nations, to be failing in courage or common honesty. 

"Numbers are so much the measure of everything that 
is valuable, that it is not possible to demonstrate the 
success of any action or the prudence of any undertaking, 
without them. I say this in answer to what Sir Eoger 
is pleased to say, that ^little that is truly noble can be 
expected from one who is ever poring on his cash-book 
or balancing his accounts.' When I have my returns 
from abroad, I can tell to a shilling, by the help of 
numbers, the profit or loss by my adventure; but I ought 
also to be able to show that I had reason for making it, 
either from my own experience or that of other people, 
or from a reasonable presumption that my returns will 
be sufficient to answer my expense and hazard — and this 
is never to be done without the skill of numbers. For 
instance, if I am to trade to Turkey, I ought beforehand to 
know the demand of our manufactures there, as well as 


of their silks in England, and the customary prices that 
are given for both in each country. I ought to have a 
clear knowledge of these matters beforehand, that I may 
presume upon sufficient returns to answer the charge of 
the cargo I have fitted out, the freight and assurance 
out and home, the custom to the Queen, and the interest 
of my own money, and besides all these expenses, a reason- 
able profit to myself. Now what is there of scandal in 
this skill? What has the merchant done that he should 
be so little in the good graces of Sir Roger? He throws 
down no man's enclosure, and tramples upon no man's 
corn; he takes nothing from the industrious laborer; he 
pays the poor man for his work; he communicates his 
profit with mankind; by the preparation of his cargo, and 
the manufacture of his returns, he furnishes employment 
and subsistence to greater numbers than the richest noble- 
man; and even the nobleman is obliged to him for finding 
out foreign markets for the produce of his estate, and for 
making a great addition to his rents ; and yet it is certain 
that none of all these things could be done by him with- 
out the exercise of his skill in numbers. 

"This is the economy of the merchant; and the conduct 
of the gentleman must be the same, unless by scorning to 
be the steward, he resolves the steward shall be the gen- 
tleman. The gentleman, no more than the merchant, is 
able, without the help of numbers, to account for the 
success of any action, or the prudence of any adventure. 
If, for instance, the chase is his whole adventure, his only 
returns must be the stag's horns in the great hall and the 
fox's nose upon the stable door. Without doubt Sir Roger 
knows the full value of these returns; and if beforehand 
he had computed the charges of the chase, a gentleman 
of his discretion would certainly have hanged up all his 
dogs; he would never have brought back so many fine 
horses to the kennel; he would never have gone so often, 
like a blast, over fields of com. If such, too, had been 
the conduct of all his ancestors, he might truly have 
boasted, at this day, that the antiquity of his family had 


never been sullied by a trade; a merchant had never been 
permitted with his whole estate to purchase a room for 
his picture in the gallery of the Coverleys, or to claim 
his descent from the maid of honor. But ^tis very happy 
for Sir Roger that the merchant paid so dear for his 
ambition. 'Tis the misfortune of many other gentlemen 
to turn out of the seats of their ancestors to make way 
for such new masters as have been more exact in their 
accounts than themselves; and certainly he deserves the 
estate a great deal better who has got it by his industry, 
than he who has lost it by his negligence," T. 

[Spectator No. 236. Thursday, November 29, 1711. 

— Populares 
Vincentem strepitus — ^ 

— HoR. Ars Poet. 81. 

There is nothing which lies more within the province 
of a Spectator than public shows and diversions; and, as 
among these there are none which can pretend to vie 
with those elegant entertainments that are exhibited 
in our theaters, I think it particularly incumbent on me 
to take notice of every thing that is remarkable in such 
numerous and refined assemblies. 

It is observed, that of late years there has been a cer- 
tain person in the upper gallery of the play-house, who, 
when he is pleased with anything that is acted upon the 
stage, expresses his approbation by a loud knock upon 
the benches or the wainscot, which may be heard over the 
whole theater. This person is commonly known by the 
name of the "Trunk-maker in the upper gallery." 
Whether it be that the blow he gives on these occasions 

* Awes the tumultuous noises of the pit. 


resembles that which is often heard in the shops of such 
artisans, or that he was supposed to have been a real 
trunk-maker, who after the finishing of his day's work 
used to unbend his mind at these public diversions with 
his hammer in his hand, I cannot certainly tell. There 
are some, 1 know, who have been foolish enough to imagine 
it is a spirit which haunts the upper gallery, and from 
time to time makes those strange noises; and the rather, 
because he is observed to be louder than ordinary every 
time the ghost of Hamlet appears. Others have reported, 
that it is a dumb man, who has chosen this way of utter- 
ing himself when he is transported with anything he sees 
or hears. Others will have it to be the play-house thun- 
derer, that exerts himself after this manner in the upper 
gallery when he has nothing to do upon the roof. 

But having made it my business to get the best in- 
formation I could in a matter of this moment, I find that 
the trunk-maker, as he is commonly called, is a large black- 
man, whom nobody knows. He generally leans forward 
on a huge oaken plant with great attention to everything 
that passes upon the stage. He is never seen to smile; but, 
upon hearing anything that pleases him, he takes up his 
staff with both hands, and lays it upon the next piece of 
timber that stands in his way with exceeding vehemence; 
after which, he composes himself in his former posture, 
till such time as something new sets him again at work. 

It has been observed, his blow is so well timed that the 
most judicious critic could never except against it. As 
soon as any shining thought is expressed in the poet, or 
any uncommon grace appears in the actor, he smites the 
bench or wainscot. If the audience does not concur with 
him, he smites a second time; and if the audience is not 
yet awakened, looks round him with great wrath, and 
repeats the blow a third time, which never fails to produce 
the clap. He sometimes lets the audience begin the clap 
themselves, and at the conclusion of their applause ratifies 
it with a single thwack. 

He is of so great use to the play-house, that it is said 


a former director of it, upon his not being able to pay 
his attendance by reason of sickness, kept one in pay to 
officiate for him until such time as he recovered; but the 
person so employed, though he laid about him with in- 
credible violence, did it in such wrong places that the 
audience soon found out that it was not their old friend 
the trunk-maker. 

It has been remarked, that he has not yet exerted him- 
self with vigor this season. He sometimes plies at the 
opera; and, upon Nicolini's first appearance, was said to 
have demolished three benches in the fury of his applause. 
He has broken half-a-dozen oaken plants upon Dogget, 
and seldom goes away from a tragedy of Shakespeare 
without leaving the wainscot extremely shattered. 

The players do not only connive at his obstreperous ap- 
probation, but very cheerfully repair at their own cost 
whatever damages he makes. They once had a thought 
of erecting a kind of wooden anvil for his use, that should 
be made of a very sounding plank, in order to render his 
strokes more deep and mellow ; but as this might not have 
been distinguished from the music of a kettle drum, the 
project was laid aside. 

In the meanwhile, I cannot but take notice of the great 
use it is to an audience that a person should thus preside 
over their heads like the director of a concert, in order 
to awaken their attention, and beat time to their ap- 
plauses; or, to raise my simile, I have sometimes fancied 
the trunk-maker, in the upper gallery, to be like VirgiFs 
ruler of the wind, seated upon the top of a mountain, who, 
when he struck his scepter upon the side of it, roused an 
hurricane, and set the whole cavern in an uproar. 

It is certain the trunk-maker has saved many a good 
play, and brought many a graceful actor into reputation, 
who would not otherwise have been taken notice of. It 
is very visible, as the audience is not a little abashed, 
if they find themselves betrayed into a clap when their 
friend in the upper gallery does not come into it; so the 
actors do not value themselves upon the clap, but regard 


it as a mere hrutum fulmen, or empty noise, when it has 
not the sound of the oaken plant in it. I know it has 
been given out by those who are enemies to the trunk- 
maker, that he has sometimes been bribed to be in the 
interest of a bad poet, or a vicious player; but this is a 
surmise which has no foundation: his strokes are always 
just, and his admonitions seasonable: he does not deal 
about his blows at random, but always hits the right nail 
upon the head. That inexpressible force wherewith he 
lays them on, sufficiently shows the evidence and strength 
of his conviction. His zeal for a good author is indeed 
outrageous, and breaks down every fence and partition, 
every board and plank, that stands within the expression 
of his applause. 

As I do not care for terminating my thoughts in bar- 
ren speculations, or in reports of pure matter of fact, 
without drawing something from them for the advantage 
of my countrymen, I shall take the liberty to make an 
humble proposal, that whenever the trunk-maker shall 
depart this life, or whenever he shall have lost the spring 
of his arm by sickness, old age, infirmity, or the like, some 
able-bodied critic should be advanced to this post, and 
have a competent salary settled on him, to be furnished 
with bamboos for operas, crab-tree cudgels for comedies, 
and oaken plants for tragedy, at the public expense. And 
to the end that this place should be always disposed of 
according to merit, I would have none preferred to it who 
has not given convincing proofs both of a sound judgment 
and a strong arm, and who could not upon occasion, 
either knock down an ox, or write a comment upon Hor- 
ace's Art of Poetry. In short, I would have him a due 
composition of Hercules and Apollo, and so rightly quali- 
fied for this important office, that the trunk-maker may 
not be missed by our posterity. 0. 


[Spectator No. 251. Tuesday, December 18, 1711. 

— Linguae centum sunt, oraque centum, 
Ferrea vox — ^ 

— ViRG. ^n. vi. 625. 

There is nothing which more astonishes a foreigner, 
and frights a country squire, than the Cries of London. 
My good friend Sir Roger often declares that he cannot 
get them out of his head, or go to sleep for them, the 
first week that he is in town. On the contrary. Will 
Honeycomb calls them the Ramage de la Ville, and prefers 
them to the sounds of larks and nightingales, with all the 
music of the fields and woods. I have lately received a 
letter from some very odd fellow upon this subject, which 
I shall leave with my reader, without saying anything 
farther of it. 


"I am a man out of all business, and would willingly 
turn my hand to anything for an honest livelihood. I 
have invented several projects for raising many millions 
of money without burdening the subject, but I cannot 
get the parliament to listen to me, who look upon me, for- 
sooth, as a crack and a projector; so that, despairing to 
enrich either myself or my country by this public-spirited- 
ness, I would make some proposals to you relating to a 
design which I have very much at heart, and which may 
procure me a handsome subsistence, if you will be pleased 
to recommend it to the cities of London and Westminster. 

"The post I would aim at, is to be Comptroller-General 
of the London Cries, which are at present under no man- 
ner of rules and discipline. I think I am pretty well 
qualified for this place, as being a man of very strong 
lungs, of great insight into all the branches of our 

^ — A hundred mouths, a hundred tongues, 
And throats of brass inspir'd with iron lungs. 


British trades and manufactures, and of a competent skill 
in music. 

"The Cries of London may be divided into vocal and 
instrumental. As for the latter, they are at present under 
a very great disorder. A freeman of London has the privi- 
lege of disturbing a whole street for an hour together, 
with the twanking of a brass kettle or frying-pan. The 
watchman's thump at midnight startles us in our beds, 
as much as the breaking in of a thief. The sowgelder's 
horn has indeed something musical in it, but this is 
seldom heard within the liberties. I would therefore 
propose, that no instrument of this nature should be made 
use of, which I have not tuned and licensed, after having 
carefully examined in what manner it may affect the 
ears of her Majesty's liege subjects. 

^^Vocal cries are of a much larger extent, and indeed 
so full of incongruities and barbarisms, that we appear 
a distracted city to foreigners, who do not comprehend 
the meaning of such enormous outcries. Milk is generally 
sold in a note above E-la, and in sounds so exceedingly 
shrill, that it often sets our teeth on edge. The chimney- 
sweeper is confined to no certain pitch; he sometimes 
utters himself in the deepest base, and sometimes in the 
sharpest treble; sometimes in the highest, and sometimes 
in the lowest note of the gamut. The same observation 
might be made on the retailers of small-coal, not to men- 
tion broken glasses or brick-dust. In these, therefore, and 
the like cases, it should be my care to sweeten and mellow 
the voices of these itinerant tradesmen, before they make 
their appearance in our streets, as also to acommodate 
their cries to their respective wares: and to take care 
in particular, that those may not make the most noise 
who have the least to sell, which is very observable in 
the vendors of card-matches, to whom I cannot but apply 
the old proverb of ^Much cry but little wool.' 

"Some of these last-mentioned musicians are so very 
loud in the sale of these trifling manufactures, that an 
honest splenetic gentleman of my acquaintance bargained 


with one of tliem never to come into the street where 
he lived. But what was the effect of this contract ? Why, 
the whole tribe of card match-makers, which frequent that 
quarter, passed by his door the very next day, in hopes 
of being bought off after the same manner. 

"It is another great imperfection in our London Cries, 
that there is no just time nor measure observed in them. 
Our news should indeed be published in a very quick 
time, because it is a commodity that will not keep cold. 
It should not, however, be cried with the same precipita- 
tion as fire. Yet this is generally the case. A bloody 
battle alarms the town from one end to another in an 
instant. Every motion of the French is published in so 
great a hurry, that one would think the enemy were at 
our gates. This likewise I would take upon me to regu- 
late in such a manner, that there should be some distinc- 
tion made between the spreading of a victory, a march, 
or an encampment, a Dutch, a Portugal, or a Spanish 
mail. Nor must I omit under this head those excessive 
alarms with which several boisterous rustics infest our 
streets in turnip-season; and which are more inexcusable, 
because these are wares which are in no danger of cooling 
upon their hands. 

"There are others who affect a very slow time, and are 
in my opinion much more tuneable than the former. 
The cooper in particular swells his last note in an hollow 
voice, that is not without its harmony; nor can I forbear 
being inspired with a most agreeable melancholy, when I 
hear that sad and solemn air with which the public are 
very often asked, if they have any chairs to mend ? Your 
own memory may suggest to you many other lamentable 
ditties of the same nature, in which the music is wonder- 
fully languishing and melodious. 

"I am always pleased with that particular time of the 
year which is proper for the pickling of dill and cucum- 
bers ; but, alas ! this cry, like the song of the nightingale, 
is not heard above two months. It would therefore be 


worth while to consider, whether the same air might not 
in some eases be adapted to other words. 

^^It might likewise deserve our most serious considera- 
tion, how far, in a well-regulated city, those humorists 
are to be tolerated, who, not contented with the traditional 
cries of their forefathers, have invented particular songs 
and tunes of their own : such as was, not many years since, 
the pastryman, commonly known by the name of the CoUy- 
MoUy-Puff ; ^ and such as is at this day the vendor of 
powder and wash-balls, who, if I am rightly informed, goes 
under the name of Powder-Wat. 

^T[ must not here omit one particular absurdity which 
runs through this whole vociferous generation, and which 
renders their cries very often not only incommodious, but 
altogether useless to the public. I mean that idle accom- 
plishment, which they all of them aim at, of crying so as 
not to be understood. Whether or not they have learned 
this from several of our affected singers, I will not take 
upon me to say; but most certain it is, that people know 
the wares they deal in rather by their tunes than by their 
words; insomuch that I have sometimes seen a country 
boy run out to buy apples of a bellows-mender, and ginger- 
bread from a grinder of knives and scissors. Nay, so 
strangely infatuated are some very eminent artists of this 
particular grace in a cry, that none but their acquaintance 
are able to guess at their profession; for who else can 
know, that Vork if I had it,' should be the signification 
of a corn-cutter. 

^Torasmuch, therefore, as persons of this rank are 
seldom men of genius or capacity, I think it would be 
proper that some man of good sense and profound judg- 
ment should preside over these public cries, who should 
permit none to lift up their voices in our streets, that have 
not tuneable throats, and are not only able to overcome 
the noise of the crowd, and the rattling of coaches, but 

* This little man was only able to support the basket of pastry 
which he carried on his head, and sung in a very peculiar tone 
the cant words which passed into his name. Colly-Molly-Puff. 


also to vend their respective merchandise in apt phrases, 
and in the most distinct and agreeable sounds. I do 
therefore himibly recommend myseli as a person rightly 
qualified for this post ; and, if I meet with fitting encour- 
agement, shall communicate some other projects which 
I have by me, that may no less conduce to the emolument 
of the public. 

'1 am, 'Sir, &c. 
C. 'TRalph Crotchet/' 

[Spectator No. 269. Tuesday, January 8, 1711-12. 

JEvo rarissima nostro 

Simplicitas .* — Ovm. 

I was this morning surprised with a great knocking at 
the door, when my landlady's daughter came up to me 
and told me that there was a man below desired to speak 
with me. Upon my asking her who it was, she told me 
it was a very grave, elderly person, but that she did not 
know his name. I immediately went down to him, and 
found him to be the coachman of my worthy friend. Sir 
Roger de Coverley. He told me that his master came 
to town last night, and would be glad to take a turn with 
me in Gray's Inn Walks. As I was wondering in myself 
what had brought Sir Eoger to town, not having lately 
received any letter from him, he told me that his master 
was come up to get a sight of Prince Eugene, and that he 
desired I would immediately meet him. 

I was not a little pleased with the curiosity of the old 
knight, though I did not much wonder at it, having heard 
him say more than once in private discourse that he 
looked upon Prince Eugenio (for so the knight always 
calls him) to be a greater man than Scanderbeg. 

I was no sooner come into Gray's Inn Walks, but I 

» ''Most rare is now our old simpUcity." — Dbtdih. 


heard my friend upon the terrace hemming twice or thrice 
to himself with great vigor, for he loves to clear his 
pipes in good air (to make use of his own phrase), and is 
not a little pleased with any one who takes notice of 
the strength which he still exerts in his morning hems. 

I was touched with a secret joy at the sight of the good 
old man, who before he saw me was engaged in conver- 
sation with a beggarman that had asked an alms of him. 
I could hear my friend chide him for not finding out some 
work; but at the same time saw him put his hand in 
his pocket and give him sixpence. 

Our salutations were very hearty on both sides, consist- 
ing of many kind shakes of the hand, and several affec- 
tionate looks which we cast upon one another. After 
which the knight told me my good friend his chaplain was 
very well, and much at my service, and that the Sunday 
before he had made a most incomparable sermon out of 
Doctor Barrow. "I have left," says he, "all my affairs 
in his hands, and being willing to lay an obligation upon 
him, have deposited with him thirty marks, to be dis- 
tributed among his poor parishioners.'' 

He then proceeded to acquaint me with the welfare 
of Will Wimble. Upon which he put his hand into his 
fob and presented me, in his name, with a tobacco-stopper, 
telling me that Will had been busy all the beginning of 
the winter in turning great quantities of them, and that 
he made a present of one to every gentleman in the 
country who has good principles and smokes. He added 
that poor Will was at present under great tribulation, for 
that Tom Touchy had taken the law of him for cutting 
some hazel sticks out of one of his hedges. 

Among other pieces of news which the knight brought 
from his country-seat, he informed me that Moll White 
was dead; and that about a month after her death the 
wind was so very high that it blew down the end of one 
of his barns. ^TBut for my own part," says Sir Koger, ^^I 
do not think that the old woman had any hand in it." 

He afterward fell into an account of the diversions 


which had passed in his house during the holidays ; for Sir 
Roger, after the laudable custom of his ancestors, always 
keeps open house at Christmas. I learned from him 
that he had killed eight fat hogs for the season, that he 
had dealt about his chines very liberally amongst hia 
neighbors, and that in particular he had sent a string 
of hog's-puddings with a pack of cards to every poor 
family in the parish. ^^I have often thought," says Sir 
Eoger, "it happens very well that Christmas should fall 
out in the middle of the winter. It is the most dead, 
uncomfortable time of the year, when the poor people 
would suffer very much from their poverty and cold, if 
they had not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gam- 
bols to support them. I love to rejoice their poor hearts 
at this season, and to see the whole village merry in my 
great hall. I allow a double quantity of malt to my small 
beer, and set it a running for twelve days to every one 
that calls for it. I have always a piece of cold beef and 
a mince-pie upon the table, and am wonderfully pleased to 
see my tenants pass away a whole evening in playing 
their innocent tricks, and smutting one another. Our 
friend Will Wimble is as merry as any of them, and 
shews a thousand roguish tricks upon these occasions." 

I was very much delighted with the reflection of my 
old friend, which carried so much goodness in it. He then 
launched out into the praise of the late Act of Parlia- 
ment for securing the Church of England, and told me, 
with great satisfaction, that he believed it already began 
to take effect, for that a rigid Dissenter, who chanced to 
dine at his house on Christmas Day, had been observed 
to eat very plentifully of his plum-porridge. 

After having dispatched all our country matters. Sir 
Koger made several inquiries concerning the club, and 
particularly of his old antagonist. Sir Andrew Freeport. 
He asked me with a kind of smile whether Sir Andrew 
had not taken advantage of his absence to vent among 
them some of his republican doctrines; but soon after, 
gathering up his countenance into a more than ordinary 


seriousness, ^Tell me truly/* says he, "don't you think 
Sir Andrew had a hand in the Pope's Procession!" — ^but 
without giving me time to answer him, "Well, well," says 
he, ^^I know you are a wary man, and do not care to talk 
of public matters." 

The knight then asked me if I had seen Prince Eugenio, 
and made me promise to get him a stand in some con- 
venient place, where he might have a full sight of that 
extraordinary man, whose presence does so much honor 
to the British nation. 

He dwelt very long on the praises of this great general, 
and I found that, since I was with him in the country, 
he had drawn many observations together out of his read- 
ing in Baker's Chronicle, and other authors who always 
lie in his hall window, which very much redound to the 
honor of this prince. 

Having passed away the greatest part of the morning 
in hearing the knight's reflections, which were partly 
private and partly political, he asked me if I would smoke 
a pipe with him over a dish of coffee at Squire's. As I 
love the old man, I take delight in complying with every- 
thing that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited 
on him to the coffee-house, where his venerable figure 
drew upon us the eyes of the whole room. He had no 
sooner seated himself at the upper end of the high table, 
but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a dish 
of coffee, a wax candle, and The Supplement, with such 
an air of cheerfulness and good humor that all the boys 
in the coffee-room, who eeemed to take pleasure in serving 
him, were at once employed on his several errands, inso- 
much that nobody else could come at a dish of tea till 
the knight had got all his conveniences about him. 



[Spectator No. 275. Tuesday, January 15, 1711-12. 

— tribus Anticyris caput insanabile — * 

—Hob. Ars Poet. 300. 

I was yesterday engaged in an assembly of virtuosos, 
where one of them produced many curious observations 
which he had lately made in the anatomy of an human 
body. Another of the company communicated to us sev- 
eral wonderful discoveries, which he had also made on 
the same subject by the help of very fine glasses. This 
gave birth to a great variety of uncommon remarks, and 
furnished discourse for the remaining part of the day. 

The different opinions which were started on this occa- 
sion, presented to my imagination so many new ideas, 
that, by mixing with those which were already there, 
they employed my fancy all the last night, and composed 
a very wild extravagant dream. 

I was invited methought to the dissection of a beau's 
head and of a coquette's heart, which were both of them 
laid on a table before us. An imaginary operator opened 
the first with a great deal of nicety, which, upon a cursory 
and superficial view, appeared like the head of another 
man; but upon applying our glasses to it, we made a very 
odd discovery, namely, that what we looked upon as brains, 
were not such in reality, but an heap of strange materials 
wound up in that shape and texture, and packed together 
with wonderful art in the several cavities of the skull. 
For, as Homer tells us that the blood of the gods is not 
real blood, but only something like it; so we found that 
the brain of a beau is not a real brain, but only some- 
thing like it. 

The pineal gland, which many of our modem philoso- 
phers suppose to be the seat of the soul, smelt very strong 
of essence and orange-flower water, and was encompassed 

*A head no hellebore can cure. 


with a kind of homy substance, cut into a thousand little 
faces or mirrors which were imperceptible to the naked 
eye, insomuch that the soul, if there had been any here, 
must have been always taken up in contemplating her 
own beauties. 

We observed a large antrum or cavity in the sinciput, 
that was filled with ribands, lace and embroidery, wrought 
together in a most curious piece of net-work, the parts 
of which were likewise imperceptible to the naked eye. 
Another of these antrums or cavities was stuffed with 
invisible billet-doux, love-letters, pricked dances, and other 
trumpery of the same nature. In another we found a 
kind of powder, which set the whole company a sneezing, 
and by the scent discovered itself to be right Spanish. 
The several other cells were stored with commodities of 
the same kind, of which it would be tedious to give the 
reader an exact inventory. 

There was a large cavity on each side the head, which 
I must not omit. That on the right side was filled with 
fictions, flatteries, and falsehoods, vows, promises, and 
protestations; that on the left, with oaths and impreca- 
tions. There issued out a duct from each of these cells, 
which ran into the root of the tongue, where both joined 
together, and passed forward in one common duct to the 
tip of it. We discovered several little roads or canals 
running from the ear into the brain, and took particular 
care to trace them out through their several passages. 
One of them extended itseK into a bundle of sonnets and 
little musical instruments. Others ended in several blad- 
ders which were filled either with wind or froth. But the 
large canal entered into a great cavity in the skull, from 
whence there went another canal into the tongue. This 
great cavity was filled with a kind of spongy substance, 
which the French anatomists called galimatias, and the 
English, nonsense. 

The skins of the forehead were extremely tough and 
thick, and, what very much surprised us, had not in 
them any single blood-vessel that we were able to dis- 


cover, either with or without our glasses; from whence 
we concluded, that the party when alive must have been 
entirely deprived of the faculty of blushing. 

The OS cribriforme was exceedingly stuffed, and in some 
places damaged with snuff. We could not but take notice 
in particular of that small muscle which is not often 
discovered in dissections, and draws the nose upwards, 
when it expresses the contempt which the owner of it has, 
upon seeing anything he does not like, or hearing any- 
thing he does not understand. I need not tell my learned 
reader, this is that muscle which performs the motion so 
often mentioned by the Latin poets, when they talk of a 
man's cocking his nose, or playing the rhinoceros. 

We did not find anything very remarkable in the eye, 
saving only that the musculi amatorii, or, as we may 
translate it into English, the ogling muscles, were very 
much worn and decayed with use; whereas, on the con- 
trary, the elevator, or the muscle which turns the eye 
towards heaven, did not appear to have been used at all. 

I have only mentioned in this dissection such new dis- 
coveries as we were able to make, and have not taken 
any notice of those parts which are to be met with in 
common heads. As for the skull, the face, and indeed 
the whole outward shape and figure of the head, we could 
not discover any difference from what we observe in the 
heads of other men. We were informed that the person 
to whom this head belonged, had passed for a man above 
five and thirty years ; during which time he ate and drank 
like other people, dressed well, talked loud, laughed fre- 
quently, and on particular occasions had acquitted him- 
self tolerably at a ball or an assembly; to which one of 
the company added, that a certain knot of ladies took him 
for a wit. He was cut off in the flower of his age by 
the blow of a paring shovel, having been surprised by 
an eminent citizen, as he was tendering some civilities 
to his wife. 

When we had thoroughly examined this head with all 
its apartments, and its several kinds of furniture, we put 


up the brain, such as it was, into its proper place, and 
laid it aside under a broad piece of scarlet cloth, in order 
to be prepared, and kept in a great repository of dissec- 
tions; our operator telling us that the preparation would 
not be so difficult as that of another brain, for that he 
bad observed several of the little pipes and tubes which 
ran through the brain were already filled with a kind of 
mercurial substance, which he looked upon to be true 

He applied himself in the next place to the coquette's 
heart, which he likewise laid open with great dexterity. 
There occurred to us many particularities in this dissec- 
tion; but being unwilling to burthen my reader's memory 
too much, I shall reserve this subject for the speculation 
of another day. L. 

[Spectator No. 280. Monday, January 21, 1711-12. 

Principibus placuisse viris non ultima laus est.* 

— Hob. 1 Ep. xvii. 35. 

The desire of pleasing makes a man agreeable or un- 
welcome to those with whom he converses, according to 
the motive from which that inclination appears to flow. 
If your concern for pleasing others arises from an innate 
benevolence, it never fails of success; if from a vanity 
to excel, its disappointment is no less certain. What we 
call an agreeable man, is he who is endowed with that 
natural bent to do acceptable things from a delight he 
takes in them merely as such; and the affectation of 
that character is what constitutes a fop. Under these 
leaders one may draw up all those who make any manner 
of figure, except in dumb show. A rational and select 
conversation is composed of persons who have the talent 
of pleasing with delicacy of sentiments, flowing from 

* To please the great is not the smaUest praise. 


habitual chastity of thought; but mixed company is fre- 
quently made up of pretenders to mirth, and is usually 
pestered with constrained, obscene, and painful witticisms. 
Now and then you meet with a man so exactly formed 
for pleasing, that it is no matter what he is doing or 
saying, that is to say, that there need be no manner of 
importance in it, to make him gain upon everybody who 
hears or beholds him. This felicity is not the gift of 
nature only, but must be attended with happy circum- 
stances, which add a dignity to the familiar behavior 
which distinguishes him whom we call an agreeable man. 
It is from this that everybody loves and esteems Poly- 
carpus. He is in the vigor of his age and the gaiety of 
life, but has passed through very conspicuous scenes in it : 
though no soldier, he has shared the danger, and acted 
with great gallantry and generosity on a decisive day of 
battle. To have those qualities which only make other 
men conspicuous in the world as it were supernumerary 
to him, is a circumstance which gives weight to his most 
indifferent actions; for as a known credit is ready cash 
to a trader, so is acknowledged merit immediate distinc- 
tion, and serves in the place of equipage, to a gentleman. 
This renders Polycarpus graceful in mirth, important in 
business, and regarded with love in every ordinary occur- 
rence. But not to dwell upon characters which have 
such particular recommendations to our hearts, let us 
turn our thoughts rather to the methods of pleasing which 
must carry men through the world, who cannot pretend 
to such advantages. Falling in with the particular humor 
or manner of one above you, abstracted from the general 
rules of good behavior, is the life of a slave. A parasite 
differs in nothing from the meanest servant, but that the 
footman hires himseK for bodily labor, subjected to go 
and come at the will of his master, but the other gives 
up his very soul : he is prostituted to speak, and professes 
to think after the mode of him whom he courts. This 
servitude to a patron, in an honest nature, would be more 
grievous than that of wearing his livery; therefore we 


shall speak of those methods only which are worthy and 

The happy talent of pleasing either those above you or 
below you, seems to be wholly owing to the opinion they 
have of your sincerity. This quality is to attend the agree- 
able man in all the actions of his life; and I think there 
need be no more said in honor of it, than that it is what 
forces the approbation even of your opponents. The 
guilty man has an honor for the judge who with justice 
pronounces against him the sentence of death itself. 
The author of the sentence at the head of this paper was 
an excellent judge of human life, and passed his own in 
company the most agreeable that ever was in the world. 
Augustus lived amongst his friends as if he had his 
fortune to make in his own court. Candor and affability, 
accompanied with as much power as ever mortal was 
vested with, were what made him in the utmost manner 
agreeable among a set of admirable men, who had thoughts 
too high for ambition, and views too large to be gratified 
by what he could give them in the disposal of an empire, 
without the pleasures of their mutual conversation. A 
certain unanimity of taste and judgment, which is natu- 
ral to all of the same order in the species, was the band 
of this society; and the emperor assumed no figure in it 
but what he thought was his due from his private talents 
and qualifications, as they contributed to advance the 
pleasures and sentiments of the company. 

Cunning people, hypocrites, all who are but half virtu- 
ous, or half wise, are incapable of tasting the refined 
pleasures of such an equal company as could wholly ex- 
clude the regard of fortune in their conversations. 
Horace, in the discourse from whence I take the hint of 
the present speculation, lays down excellent rules for con- 
duct in conversation with men of power; but he speaks 
it with an air of one who had no need of such an appli- 
cation for anything which related to himself. It shows 
he understood what it was to be a skiKul courtier, by 
just admonitions against importunity, and showing how 


forcible it was to speak modestly of your own wants. 
There is indeed something so shameless in taking all 
opportunities to speak of your own affairs, that he who 
is guilty of it towards him upon whom he depends, fares 
like the beggar who exposes his sores, which, instead of 
moving compassion, makes the man he begs of turn away 
from the object. 

I cannot tell what is become of him, but I remember 
about sixteen years ago an honest fellow, who so justly 
understood how disagreeable mention or appearance of 
his wants would make him, that I have often reflected 
upon him as a counterpart of Irus, whom I have formerly 
mentioned. This man, whom I have missed for some 
years in my walks, and have heard was some way em- 
ployed about the army, made it a maxim, that good wigs, 
delicate linen, and a cheerful air, were to a poor depen- 
dent the same that working tools are to a poor artificer. 
It was no small entertainment to me, who knew his 
circumstances, to see him, who had fasted two days, 
attribute the thinness they told him of, to the violence 
of some gallantries he had lately been guilty of. The 
skilful dissembler carried this on with the utmost address ; 
and if any suspected his affairs were narrow, it was 
attributed to indulging himself in some fashionable vice 
rather than an irreproachable poverty, which saved his 
credit with those on whom he depended. 

The main art is to be as little troublesome as you can, 
and make all you hope for come rather as a favor from 
your patron than claim from you. But I am here prating 
of what is the method of pleasing so as to succeed in 
the world, when there are crowds who have, in city, town, 
court, and country, arrived to considerable acquisitions, 
and yet seem incapable of acting in any constant tenor of 
life, but have gone on from one successful error to an- 
other: therefore I think I may shorten this inquiry after 
the method of pleasing ; and as the old beau said to his son, 
once for all, ^Tray, Jack, be a fine gentleman;" so may I 


to my reader, abridge my instructions, and finish the art 
of pleasing in a word, "Be rich/' T. 

[Spectator No. 281. Tuesday, January 22, 1711-12. 

Pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit erta.^ 

— ViBQ. -^n. iv. 64. 

Having already given an account of the dissection of a 
beau's head, with the several discoveries made on that 
occasion; I shall here, according to my promise, enter 
upon the dissection of a coquette's heart, and communicate 
to the public such particularities as we observed in that 
curious piece of anatomy. 

I should perhaps have waived this undertaking, had 
not I been put in mind of my promise by several of my 
unknown correspondents, who are very importunate wtth 
me to make an example of the coquette, as I have already 
done of the beau. It is therefore, in compliance with the 
request of friends, that I have looked over the minutes of 
my former dream, in order to give the public an exact 
relation of it, which I shall enter upon without farther 

Our operator, before he engaged in this visionary dis- 
section, told us that there was nothing in his art more 
difficult than to lay open the heart of a coquette, by 
reason of the many labyrinths and recesses which are to 
be found in it, and which do not appear in the heart 
of any other animal. 

He desired us first of all to observe the pericardium, 
or outward case of the heart, which we did very atten- 
tively; and by the help of our glasses discerned in it 
millions of little scars, which seemed to have been occa- 
sioned by the points of innumerable darts and arrows, 
that from time to time had glanced upon the outward 

* Anxious the reeking entrails he consults. 


coat; thougli we could not discover the smallest orifice 
by which any of them had entered and pierced the inward 

Every smatterer in anatomy knows that this pericar- 
dium, or case of the heart, contains in it a thin reddish 
liquor, supposed to be bred from the vapors which exhale 
out of the heart, and being stopped here, are condensed 
into this watery substance. Upon examining this liquor, 
we found that it had in it all the qualities of that spirit 
which is made use of in the thermometer to show the 
change of weather. 

Nor must I here omit an experiment one of the company 
assured us he himseK had made with this liquor, which 
he found in great quantity about the heart of a coquette 
whom he had formerly dissected. He affirmed to us, that 
he had actually inclosed it in a small tube made after 
the manner of a weather-glass; but that, instead of ac- 
quainting him with the variations of the atmosphere, it 
showed him the qualities of those persons who entered 
the room where it stood. He affirmed also, that it rose 
at the approach of a plume of feathers, an embroidered 
coat, or a pair of fringed gloves; and that it fell as soon 
as an ill-shaped periwig, a clumsy pair of shoes, or an 
unfashionable coat came into his house. Nay, he pro- 
ceeded so far as to assure us, that upon his laughing aloud 
when he stood by it, the liquor mounted very sensibly, 
and immediately sunk again upon his looking serious. In 
short, he told us that he knew very well by this invention, 
whenever he had a man of sense or a coxcomb in his 

Having cleared away the pericardium, or the case, and 
liquor above-mentioned, we came to the heart itself. The 
outward surface of it was extremely slippery, and the 
mucro, or point, so very cold withal, that upon endeavor- 
ing to take hold of it, it glided through the fingers like a 
smooth piece of ice. 

The fibers were turned and twisted in a more intricate 
and perplexed manner than they are usually found in 


other hearts; insomuch that the whole heart was wound 
up together like a Gordian knot, and must have had very 
irregular and unequal motions, while it was employed in 
its vital function. 

One thing we thought very observable, namely, that 
upon examining all the vessels which came into it, or 
issued out of it, we could not discover any communica- 
tion that it had with the tongue. 

We could not but take notice likewise that several of 
those little nerves in the heart which are affected by the 
sentiments of love, hatred, and other passions, did not 
descend to this before us from the brain, but from the 
muscles which lie about the eye. 

Upon weighing the heart in my hand, I found it to be 
extremely light, and consequently very hollow, which I 
did not wonder at, when, upon looking into the inside of 
it, I saw multitudes of cells and cavities running one 
within another, as our historians describe the apartments 
of Rosamond's bower. Several of these little hollows were 
stuffed with innumerable sorts of trifles, which I shall 
forbear giving any particular account of, and shall, 
therefore, only take notice of what lay first and upper- 
most, which, upon our unfolding it, and applying our 
microscopes to it, appeared to be a flame-colored hood. 

We are informed that the lady of this heart, when 
living, received the addresses of several who made love 
to her, and did not only give each of them encourage- 
ment, but made everyone she conversed with believe that 
she regarded him with an eye of kindness; for which 
reason we expected to have seen the impression of multi- 
tudes of faces among the several plaits and foldings of the 
heart; but to our great surprise not a single print of this 
nature discovered itself till we came into the very core 
and center of it. We there observed a little figure, which, 
upon applying our glasses to it, appeared dressed in a 
very fantastic manner. The more I looked upon it, the 
more I thought I had seen the face before, but could 
not possibly recollect either the place or time; when at 


length one of the company, who had examined this figure 
more nicely than the rest, showed us plainly by the make 
of its face, and the several turns of its features, that the 
little idol which was thus lodged in the very middle of 
the heart was the deceased beau, whose head I gave 
some account of in my last Tuesday's paper. 

As soon as we had finished our dissection, we resolved 
to make an experiment of the heart, not being able to 
determine among ourselves the nature of its substance, 
which differed in so many particulars from that in the 
heart of other females. Accordingly, we laid it into a 
pan of burning coals, when we observed in it a certain 
salamandrine quality, that made it capable of living in 
the midst of fire and flame, without being consumed or so 
much as singed. 

As we were admiring this strange phenomenon, and 
standing round the heart in a circle, it gave a most 
prodigious sigh, or rather crack, and dispersed all at once 
in smoke and vapor. This imaginary noise, which me- 
thought was louder than the burst of a cannon, produced 
such a violent shake in my brain, that it dissipated the 
fumes of sleep, and left me in an instant broad awake. 


[Spectator No. 295. Thursday, February 7, 1711-12. 

Prodiga non sen tit pereuntem foemina censum: 
At, velut exhausta redivivus pullulet area 
Nummus, et e pleno semper tollatur acervo, 
Non unquam reputat, quanti sibi gaudia constent.* 

— Juv. Sat. vi. 362. 

'^Mr. Spectator, 

"I am turned of my great climacteric, and am naturally 
a man of a meek temper. About a dozen years ago I was 

1 But womankind, that never knows a mean, 
Down to the dregs their sinking fortunes drain : 
Hourly they give, and spend, and waste, and wear, 
And think no pleasure can be bought too dear. 


married, for my sins, to a young woman of a good family 
and of a high spirit; but could not bring her to close 
with me before I had entered into a treaty with her 
longer than that of the grand alliance. Among other 
articles, it was therein stipulated that she should have 
£400 a-year for pin-money, which I obliged myself to 
pay quarteriy into the hands of one who acted as her 
plenipotentiary in that affair. I have ever since reli- 
giously observed my part in this solemn agreement. Now, 
sir, so it is, that the lady has had several children since 
I married her; to which, if I should credit our malicious 
neighbors, her pin-money has not a little contributed. 
The education of these my children, who, contrary to my 
expectation, are born to me every year, straitens me so 
much that I have begged their mother to free me from 
the obligation of the above-mentioned pin-money, that 
it may go towards making a provision for her family. 
This proposal makes her noble blood swell in her veins, 
insomuch, that finding me a little tardy in her last 
quarter's payment, she threatens me every day to arrest 
me; and proceeds so far as to tell me, that if I do not 
do her justice, I shall die in a jail. To this she adds, 
when her passion will let her argue calmly, that she has 
several play-debts on her hand, which must be discharged 
very suddenly, and that she cannot lose h"er money as 
becomes a woman of her fashion if she makes me any 
abatements in this article. I hope, sir, you will take an 
occasion from hence to give your opinion upon a subject 
which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there 
are any precedents for this usage among our ancestors; 
or whether you find any mention of pin-money in Grotius, 
Puffendorff, or any other of the civilians. 

^^I am ever the humblest of your admirers, 
^'JosuH Fribble, Esq." 

As there is no man living who is a more professed 
advocate of the fair sex than myself, so there is none that 
would be more unwilling to invade any of their ancient 


rights and privileges; but as the doctrine of pin-money 
is of a very late date, unknown to our great-grandmothers, 
and not yet received by many of our modern ladies, I think 
it is for the interest of both sexes to keep it from spread- 

Mr. Fribble may not perhaps be much mistaken where 
he intimates that the supplying a man's wife with pin- 
money, is furnishing her with arms against himself, and 
in a manner becoming accessory to his own dishonor. 
We may indeed generally observe that in proportion as a 
woman is more or less beautiful, and her husband ad- 
vanced in years, she stands in need of a greater or less 
number of pins, and, upon a treaty of marriage, rises 
and falls in her demands accordingly. It must likewise 
be owned, that high quality in a mistress does very much 
inflame this article in the marriage-reckoning. 

But where the age and circumstances of both parties 
are pretty much upon a level, I cannot but think the in- 
sisting upon pin-money is very extraordinary; and yet we 
find several matches broken off upon this very head. 
What would a foreigner, or one who is stranger to this 
practise, think of a lover that forsakes his mistress 
because he is not willing to keep her in pinsl But what 
would he think of the mistress should he be informed 
that she asks five or six hundred pounds a-year for this 
usel Should a man, unacquainted with our customs, be 
told the sums which are allowed in Great Britain under 
the title of pin-money, what a prodigious consumption of 
pins would he think there was in this island? "A pin a 
day,'' says our frugal proverb, "is a groat a year;" so 
that, according to this calculation, my friend Fribble's 
wife must every year make use of eight millions six hun- 
dred and forty thousand new pins. 

I am not ignorant that our British ladies allege they 
comprehend under this general term several other con- 
veniences of life; I could therefore wish, for the honor 
of my country-women, that they had rather called it 
needle-money, which might have implied something of 


good housewifery, and not have given the malicious world 
occasion to think that dress and trifles have always the 
uppermost place in a woman's thoughts. 

I know several of my fair reasoners urge, in defense of 
this practise, that it is but a necessary provision they 
make for themselves in case their husband proves a churl 
or a miser; so that they consider this allowance as a kind 
of alimony which they may lay their claim to without 
actually separating from their husbands. But with sub- 
mission, I think a woman who will give up herself to a 
man in marriage, where there is the least room for such 
an apprehension, and trust her person to one whom she 
will not rely on for the conunon necessaries of life, may 
very properly be accused (in the phrase of a homely prov- 
erb) of being "penny wise and pound foolish." 

It is observed of over-cautious generals, that they never 
engage in a battle without securing a retreat in case the 
event should not answer their expectations; on the other 
hand, your greatest conquerors have burnt their ships, 
and broke down the bridges behind them, as being deter- 
mined either to succeed or die in the engagement. In 
the same manner I should very much suspect a woman 
who takes such precautions for her retreat, and contrives 
methods how she may live happily, without the affection 
of one to whom she joins herself for life. Separate purses 
between man and wife axe, in my opinion, as unnatural as 
separate beds. A marriage cannot be happy where the 
pleasures, inclinations, and interests of both parties are 
not the same. There is no greater incitement to love in 
the mind of man than the sense of a person's depending 
upon him for her ease and happiness; as a woman uses 
all her endeavors to please the person whom she looks 
upon, as her honor, her comfort, and her support. 

For this reason I am not very much surprised at the 
behavior of a rough country squire, who, being not a little 
shocked at the proceeding of a young widow that would 
not recede from her demands of pin-money, was so en- 
raged at her mercenary femper, that he told her in great 


wrath, "As much as she thought him her slave, he would 
show all the world he did not care a pin for her." Upon 
which he flew out of the room, and never saw her more. 

Socrates, in Plato's Alcihiades, says he was informed 
by one who had traveled through Persia, that as he had 
passed over a great tract of land, and inquired what the 
name of the place was, they told him it was the Queen's 
Girdle: to which he adds, that another wide field, which 
lay by it, was called the Queen's Veil; and that in the 
same manner there was a large portion of ground set aside 
for every part of her Majesty's dress. These lands might 
not be improperly called the Queen of Persia's pin-money. 

I remember my friend Sir Eoger, who, I dare say, never 
read this passage in Plato, told me some time since, that 
upon his courting the perverse widow (of whom I have 
given an account in former papers), he had disposed of a 
hundred acres in a diamond ring, which he would have 
presented her with had she thought fit to accept it; and 
that, upon her wedding day, she should have carried on 
her head fifty of the tallest oaks upon his estate. He 
farther informed me, that he would have given her a 
coal-pit to keep her in clean linen, that he would have 
allowed her the profits of a windmill for her fans, and 
have presented her once in three years with the shearing 
of his sheep for her under-petticoats. To which the 
knight always adds, that though he did not care for fine 
clothes himself, there should not have been a woman in 
the country better dressed than my Lady Coverley. Sir 
Roger, perhaps, may in this, as well as in many other 
of his devices, appear something odd and singular; but if 
the humor of pin-money prevails, I think it would be 
very proper for every gentleman of an estate to mark out 
so many acres of it under the title of "The Pins." L. 


[Spectator No. 317. Tuesday, March 4, 1712. Addison.] 
Fruges consmnere nati.* — HoR. 

Augustus, a few moments before his death, asked his 
friends who stood about him, if they thought he had acted 
his part well; and upon receiving such an answer as 
was due to his extraordinary merit, "Let me then," says 
he, "go off the stage with your applause'' ; using the expres- 
sion with which the Eoman actors made their exit at the 
conclusion of a dramatic piece. I could wish that men, 
while they are in health, would consider well the nature 
of the part they are engaged in, and what figure it will 
make in the minds of those they leave behind them: 
Whether it was worth coming into the world for, whether 
it be suitable to a reasonable being; in short, whether 
it appears graceful in this life, or will turn to an advan- 
tage in the next. Let the sycophant, or buffoon, the 
satirist, or the good companion, consider with himself, 
when his body shall be laid in the grave, and his soul 
pass into another state of existence, how much it will 
redound to his praise to have it said of him, that no man 
in England eat better, that he had an admirable talent 
at turning his friends into ridicule, that nobody outdid 
him at an ill-natured jest, or that he never went to bed 
before he had despatched his third bottle. These are, 
however, very common funeral orations, and eulogiums on 
deceased persons who have acted among mankind with 
some figure and reputation. 

But if we look into the bulk of our species, they are 
such as are not likely to be remembered a moment after 
their disappearance. They leave behind them no traces 
of their existence, but are forgotten as though they had 
never been. They are neither wanted by the poor, re- 
gretted by the rich, nor celebrated by the learned. They 
are neither missed in the Commonwealth, nor lamented 
by private persons. Their actions are of no significancy 

* Born to drink and eat. 


to mankind, and might have been performed by creatures 
of much less dignity, than those who are distinguished 
by the faculty of reason. An eminent French author 
speaks somewhere to the following purpose: I have often 
seen from my chamber-window two noble creatures, both 
of them of an erect countenance, and endowed with rea- 
son. These two intellectual beings are employed from 
morning to night, in rubbing two smooth stones one upon 
another; that is, as the vulgar phrase it, in polishing 

My friend. Sir Andrew Freeport, as we were sitting 
in the Club last night, gave us an account of a sober 
citizen, who died a few days since. This honest man 
being of greater consequence in his own thoughts, than in 
the eye of the world, had for some years past kept a jour- 
nal of his life. Sir Andrew showed us one week of it. 
Since the occurrences set down in it mark out such a road 
of action as that I have been speaking of, I shall present 
my reader with a faithful copy of it; after having first 
informed him, that the deceased person had in Jiis 
youth been bred to trade, but finding himself not so well 
turned for business, he had for several years last past lived 
altogether upon a moderate annuity. 

MONDAY, Eight a clock. I put on my clothes and 
walked into the parlor. 

Nine a clock, ditto. Tied my knee-strings, and washed 
my hands. 

Hours Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Smoked three pipes 
of Virginia. Read the Supplement and Daily Courant, 
Things go ill in the North. Mr. Nisby's opinion there- 

One a clock in the afternoon. Chid Ealph for mislay- 
ing my tobacco-box. 

Two a clock. Sat down to dinner. Mem. Too many 
plums, and no suet. 

From Three to Four, Took my afternoon's nap. 


From Four to Six. Walked into the fields. Wind, 

From Six to Ten. At the Club. Mr. Nisby's opinion 
about the peace. 

Ten a clock. Went to bed, slept sound. 

TUESDAY, BEING HOLIDAY, Eight a clocJc. Eose 
as usual. 

Nine a clock. Washed hands and face, shaved, put on 
my double soled shoes. 

Ten, Eleven, Twelve. Took a walk to Islington. 

One. Took a pot of Mother Cob's mild. 

Between Two and Three. Returned, dined on a knuckle 
of veal and bacon. Mem. Sprouts wanting. 

Three. Nap as usual. 

From Four to Six. Coffee-house. Read the News. A 
dish of twist. Grand Vizier strangled. 

From Six to Ten. At the Club. Mr. Nisby's account 
of the great Turk. 

Ten. Dream of the Grand Yizier. Broken sleep. 

WEDNESDAY. Eight a clock. Tongue of my shoe- 
buckle broke. Hands but not face. 

Nine. Paid off the butcher's bill. Mem. To be al- 
lowed for the last leg of mutton. 

Ten, Eleven. At the coffee-house. More work in the 
north. Stranger in a black wig asked me how stocks 

From Twelve to One. Walked in the fields. Wind 
to the south. 

From One to Two. Smoked a pipe and a half. 

Two. Dined as usual. Stomach good. 

Three. Nap broke by the falling of a pewter-dish. 
Mem. Cook-maid in love, and grown careless. 

From Four to Six. At the Coffee-house. Advice from 
Smyrna, that the Grand Vizier was first of all strangled, 
and afterwards beheaded. 

Six a clock in the evening. Was half an hour in the 


Club before any body else came. Mr. Nisby of opinion 
that the Grand Vizier was not strangled the sixth instant. 
Ten at night. Went to bed. Slept without waking till 
nine next morning. 

THURSDAY, Nine a clocJc. Staid within till two a 
clock for Sir Timothy. Who did not bring me my 
annuity according to his promise. 

Two in the afternoon. Sat down to Dinner. Loss of 
appetite. Small beer sour. Beef over-corned. 

Three. Could not take my nap. 

Four and Five. Gave Ealph a box on the ear. Turned 
off my cook-maid. Sent a message to Sir Timothy. 
Mem. I did not go to the Club to-night. Went to bed 
at nine a clock. 

FKIDAT. Passed the morning in meditation upon 
Sir Timothy, who was with me a quarter before twelve. 

Twelve a clock. Bought a new head to my cane, and 
a tongue to my buckle. Drank a glass of purl to recover 

Two arid Three. Dined, and slept well. 

From Four to Six. Went to the coffee-house. Met Mr. 
Nisby there. Smoked several pipes. Mr. Nisby of opin- 
ion that laced coffee is bad for the head. 

Six a clocJc. At the Club as steward. Sat late. 

Twelve a cloch. Went to bed, dreamt that I drank 
small-beer with the Grand Vizier. 

SATTJEDAT. Waked at eleven, walked in the fields, 
Wind N.E. 

Twelve. Caught in a shower. 

One in the afternoon. Keturned home, and dried my- 

Two. Mr. Nisby dined with me. First course marrow- 
bones, second, ox-cheek, with a bottle of Brook's and 

Three a clock. Overslept myself. 


Six. Went to the Club. Like to have fallen into a 
^tter. Grand Vizier certainly dead, etc. 

I question not, but the reader will be surprised to find 
the above-mentioned journalist taking so much care of 
a life that was filled with such inconsiderable actions, 
and received so very small improvements; and yet, if 
we look into the behavior of many whom we daily con- 
verse with, we shall find that most of their hours are 
taken up in those three important articles of eating, drink- 
ing, and sleeping. I do not suppose that a man loses 
his time, who is not engaged in public affairs, or in an 
illustrious course of action. On the contrary, I believe 
our hours may very often be more profitably laid out in 
such transactions as make no figure in the world, than 
in such as are apt to draw upon them the attention of 
mankind. One may become wiser and better by several 
methods of employing one's self in secrecy and silence, 
and do what is laudable without noise, or ostentation. I 
would, however, recommend to every one of my readers, 
the keeping a journal of their lives for one week, and 
setting down punctually their whole series of employments, 
during that space of time. This kind of self-examina- 
tion would give them a true state of themselves, and 
incline them to consider seriously what they are about. 
One day would rectify the omissions of another, and make 
a man weigh all those indifferent actions, which, though 
they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted 

[Spectator No. 323. Tuesday, March 11, 1712. Addison.] 

Mode vir, mode femina.^ — Virg. 

The Journal with which I presented my reader on 
Tuesday last, has brought me in several letters with ac- 
counts of many private lives cast into that form. I have 

^ Sometimes a man, sometimes a woman. 


the Eake's Journal, the Sot's Journal, the Whoremaster'8 
Journal, and among several others a very curious piece, 
entitled, The Journal of a Mohock. By these instances 
I find that the intention of my last Tuesday's paper has 
been mistaken by many of my readers. I did not design 
so much to expose vice as idleness, and aimed at those 
persons who pass away their time rather in trifles and 
impertinence, than in crimes and immoralities. Of- 
fenses of this later kind are not to be dallied with, or 
treated in so ludicrous a manner. In short, my journal 
only holds up folly to the light, and shows the disagree- 
ableness of such actions as are indifferent in themselves, 
and biameable only as they proceed from creatures en- 
dowed with reason. 

My following correspondent, who calls herself Clarinda, 
is such a journalist as I require: she seems by her letter 
to be placed in a modish state of indifference between vice 
and virtue, and to be susceptible of either, were there 
proper pains taken with her. Had her journal been filled 
with gallantries, or such occurrences as had shown her 
wholly divested of her natural innocence, notwithstanding 
it might have been more pleasing to the generality of 
readers, 1 should not have published it; but as it is only 
the picture of a life filled with a fashionable kind of 
gaiety and laziness, 1 shall set down five days of it, as 
I have received it from the hand of my correspondent. 

Dear Mr. Spectator, 

You having set your readers an exercise in one of your 
last week's papers, I have performed mine according to 
your orders, and herewith send it you enclosed. You 
must know, Mr, Spectator, that I am a maiden lady of 
a good fortune, who have had several matches offered me 
for these ten years last past, and have at present warm 
applications made to me by a very pretty fellow. As I 
am at my own disposal, I come up to town every winter, 
and pass my time after the manner you will find in the 


following journal, which I began to write upon the very 
day after your Spectator upon that subject. 

Tuesday night. Could not go to sleep tiU one in the 
morning for thinking of my journal. 

Wednesday. From Eight till Ten. Drank two dishes 
of chocolate in bed, and fell asleep after them. 

From Ten to Eleven. Eat a slice of bread and butter, 
drank a dish of bohea, read the Spectator. 

From Eleven to One. At my toilette, tried a new head. 
Gave orders for Veny to be combed and washed. Mem. 
I look best in blue. 

From One till half an hour after Two. Drove to the 
Change. Cheapened a couple of fans. 

Till Four. At dinner. Mem. Mr. Froth passed by in 
his new liveries. 

From Four to Six. Dressed, paid a visit to old Lady 
Blithe and her sister, having before heard they were gone 
out of town that day. 

From Six to Eleven. At basset. Mem. Never set 
again upon the ace of diamonds. 

Thursday. From Eleven at night to Eight in the 
morning. Dreamed that I punted to Mr. Froth. 

From Eight to Ten. Chocolate. Kead two acts in 
Aurenzehe a-bed. 

From Ten to Eleven. Tea-table. Sent to borrow Lady 
Faddle's Cupid for Veny. Kead the play-bills. Received 
a letter from Mr. Froth. Mem. Locked it up in my 
strong box. 

Rest of the morning. Fontange, the tire-woman, her 
account of my Lady Blithe's wash. Broke a tooth in my 
little tortoise-shell comb. Sent Frank to know how my 
Lady Hectic rested after her monkey's leaping out at win- 
dow. Looked pale. Fontange tells me my glass is not 
true. Dressed by Three. 

From Three to Four. Dinner cold before I sat down. 


From Four to Eleven. Saw company. Mr. Frotli's 
opinion of Milton. His account of the Mohocks. His 
fancy for a pin-cushion. Picture in the lid of his snuff- 
box. Old Lady Faddle promises me her woman to cut 
my hair. Lost five guineas at crimp. 

Twelve a clock at night Went to bed. 

FwDAY. Eight in the morning. A-bed. Eead over all 
Mr. Froth's letters. Cupid and Veny. 

Ten a clock. Stayed within all day, not at home. 

From Ten to Twelve. In conference with my mantua- 
maker. Sorted a suit of ribands. Broke my blue china 

From Twelve to One. Shut myself up in my chamber, 
practised Lady Betty Modely's skuttle. 

One in the afternoon. Called for my flowered hand- 
kerchief. Worked half a violet leaf in it. Eyes ached 
and head out of order. Threw by my work, and read over 
the remaining part of Aurenzehe. 

From Three to Four. Dined. 

From Four to Twelve. Changed my mind, dressed, 
went abroad, and played at crimp till midnight. Found 
Mrs. Spitely at home. Conversation: Mrs. Brilliant's 
necklace false stones. Old Lady Loveday going to be mar- 
ried to a young fellow that is not worth a groat. Miss 
Prue gone into the country. Tom Townley has red hair. 
Mem. Mrs. Spitely whispered in my ear that she had 
something to tell me about Mr. Froth, I am sure it is not 

Between Twelve and One. Dreamed that Mr. Froth lay 
at my feet, and called me Indamora. 

Saturday. Kose at eight a clock in the morning. Sat 
down to my toilette. 

From Eight to Nine. Shifted a patch for half an hour 
before I could determine it. Fixed it above my left eye- 

From Nine to Twelve. Drank my tea, and dressed. 


From Twelve to Two. At chapel. A great deal of 
good company. Mem. The third air in the new opera. 
Lady Blithe dressed frightfully. 

From Three to Four. Dined. Mrs. Kitty called upon 
me to go to the opera before I was risen from table. 

From dinner to Six. Drank tea. Turned off a foot- 
man for being rude to Veny. 

Six a clocJc. Went to the opera. I did not see Mr. 
Froth till the beginning of the second act. Mr. Froth 
talked to a gentleman in a black wig. Bowed to a lady 
in the front box. Mr, Froth and his friend clapped Nico- 
lini in the third act. Mr. Froth cried out Ancora. Mr. 
Froth led me to my chair. I think he squeezed my hand. 

Eleven at night. Went to bed. Melancholy dreams. 
Methought Nicolini said he was Mr. Froth, 

Sunday. Indisposed. 

Monday. Eight a cloch [Waked] by Miss Kitty. 
Aurenzele lay upon the chair by me. Kitty repeated 
without book the eight best lines in the play. Went in 
our mobs to the dumb man, according to appointment. 
Told me that my lover's name began with a G. Mem. 
The conjurer was within a letter of Mr. Froth's name, etc. 

Upon looking back into this my journal, I find that 
I am at a loss to know whether I pass my time well or 
ill; and indeed never thought of considering how I did it, 
before I perused your speculation upon that subject. I 
scarce find a single action in these five days that 1 can 
thoroughly approve of, except the working upon the violet 
leaf, which I am resolved to finish the first day I am at 
leisure. As for Mr. Froth and Veny, I did not think they 
took up so much of my time and thoughts, as I find they 
do upon my journal. The latter of them I will turn off 
if you insist upon it; and if Mr. Froth does not bring 
matters to a conclusion very suddenly, I will not let my 
life run away in a dream. 

Your humble servant, 



To resume one of the morals of my first paper, and to 
confirm Clarinda in her good inclinations, I would have 
her consider what a pretty figure she would make among 
posterity, were the history of her whole life published like 
these five days of it. I shall conclude my paper with an 
epitaph written by an uncertain author on Sir Philip 
Sidney's sister, a lady who seems to have been of a tem- 
per very much different from that of Clarinda. The last 
thought of it is so very noble, that I dare say my reader 
will pardon the quotation. 

On the Countess Dowager of Pembroke 
Underneath this marhle hearse 
Lies the subject of all verse, 
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother; 
Death, ere thou hast killed another, 
Fair and learned, and good as she, 
Time shall throw a dart at thee. 

[Specjtator No. 329. Tuesday, March 18, 1711-12. 

Ire tamen restat, Numa quo devenit et Ancus.* 


My friend Sir Eoger de Coverley told me t'other night 
that he had been reading my paper upon Westminster 
Abbey, in which, says he, there are a great many in- 
genious fancies. He told me, at the same time, that he 
observed I had promised another paper upon the tombs, 
and that he should be glad to go and see them with me, 
not having visited them since he had read history. I 
could not at first imagine how this came into the knight's 
head, till I recollected that he had been very busy all last 
summer upon Baker's Chronicle, which he has quoted 
several times in his disputes with Sir Andrew Freeport, 

*"With Ancus, and with Numa, kings of Rome, 
We must descend into the silent tomb." 


since his last coming to town. Accordingly, I promised 
to call upon him the next morning, that we might go to- 
gether to the Abbey. 

I found the knight under his butler's hands, who al- 
ways shaves him. He was no sooner dressed than he 
called for a glass of the Widow Trueby's water, which he 
told me he always drank before he went abroad. He 
recommended me to a dram of it at the same time with 
so much heartiness that I could not forbear drinking it. 
As soon as I had got it down, I found it very unpalatable; 
upon which the knight, observing that I had made sev- 
eral wry faces, told me that he knew I should not like it 
at first, but that it was the best thing in the world against 
the stone or gravel. 

I could have wished, indeed, that he had acquainted me 
with the virtues of it sooner ; but it was too late to com- 
plain, and I knew what he had done was out of good- 
will. Sir Eoger told me, further, that he looked upon it 
to be very good for a man, whilst he stayed in town, to 
keep off infection; and that he got together a quantity of 
it upon the first news of the sickness being at Dantzic. 
When, of a sudden, turning short to one of his servants, 
who stood behind him, he bid him call a hackney-coach, 
and take care it was an elderly man that drove it. 

He then resumed his discourse upon Mrs. Trueby^s 
water, telling me that the Widow Trueby was one who 
did more good than all the doctors and apothecaries in the 
country; that she distilled every poppy that grew within 
five miles of her; that she distributed her water gratis 
among all sorts of people: to which the knight added that 
she had a very great jointure, and that the whole country 
would fain have it a match between him and her; "And 
truly," said Sir Eoger, "if I had not been engaged, per- 
haps I could not have done better." 

His discourse was broken off by his man's telling him 
he had called a coach. Upon our going to it, after hav- 
ing cast his eye upon the wheels, he asked the coachman 
if his axle-tree was good; upon the fellow's telling him 


he would warrant it, the knight turned to me, told me he 
looked like an honest man, and went in without further 

We had not gone far when Sir Eoger, popping out his 
head, called the coachman down from his box and, upon 
his presenting himself at the window, asked him if he 
smoked; as I was considering what this would end in, he 
bid him stop by the way at any good tobacconist's, and 
take in a roll of their best Virginia. Nothing material 
happened in the remaining part of our journey till we 
were set down at the west end of the Abbey. 

As we went up the body of the church, the knight 
pointed at the trophies upon one of the new monuments, 
and cried out, "A brave man, I warrant him!" Passing 
afterward by Sir Cloudesley Shovel, he flung his hand that 
way, and cried, "Sir Cloudesley Shovel! a very gallant 
man!" As we stood before Busby's tomb, the knight ut- 
tered himself again after the same manner: — ^*^Dr. Busby 
— a great man ! he whipped my grandfather — a very great 
man! I should have gone to him myself if I had not 
been a blockhead — a very gj-eat man !" 

We were immediately conducted into the little chapel 
on the right hand. Sir Eoger, planting himself at our 
historian's elbow, was very attentive to everything he said, 
particularly to the account he gave us of the lord who 
had cut off the King of Morocco's head. Among several 
other figures, he was very well pleased to see the states- 
man Cecil upon his knees; and, concluding them all to 
be great men, was conducted to the figure which repre- 
sents that martyr to good housewifery who died by the 
prick of a needle. Upon our interpreter's telling us that 
she was a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, the knight 
was very inquisitive into her name and family, and, after 
having regarded her finger for some time, "I wonder," 
says he, ^^that Sir Kichard Baker has said nothing of her 
in his Chronicle." 

We were then conveyed to the two coronation chairs, 
where my old friend, after having heard that the stone 


underneath the most ancient of them, which was brought 
from Scotland, was called Jacob's Pillar, sat himself 
down in the chair, and, looking like the figure of an old 
Gothic king, asked our interpreter what authority they 
had to say that Jacob had ever been in Scotland. The 
fellow, instead of returning him an answer, told him that 
he hoped his honor would pay his forfeit. I could ob- 
serve Sir Roger a little ruffled upon being thus trepanned ; 
but, our guide not insisting upon his demand, the knight 
soon recovered his good humor, and whispered in my ear 
that if Will Wimble were with us, and saw those two 
chairs, it would go hard but he would get a tobacco* 
stopper out of one or t'other of them. 

Sir Roger, in the next place, laid his hand upon Ed- 
ward the Third's sword, and, leaning upon the pommel of 
it, gave us the whole history of the Black Prince; con- 
cluding that, in Sir Richard Baker's opinion, Edward 
the Third was one of the greatest princes that ever sat 
upon the English throne. 

We were then shown Edward the Confessor's tomb, 
upon which Sir Roger acquainted us that he was the 
first who touched for the evil; and afterward Henry the 
Fourth's, upon which he shook his head and told us there 
was fine reading in the casualties in that reign. 

Our conductor then pointed to that monument where 
there is the figure of one of our English kings without 
an head; and upon giving us to know that the head, 
which was of beaten silver, had been stolen away sev- 
eral years since, ^^Some Whig, I'll warrant you," says 
Sir Roger; "you ought to lock up your kings better; they 
will carry off the body too, if you don't take care." 

The glorious names of Henry the Fifth and Queen 
Elizabeth gave the knight great opportunities of shin- 
ing and of doing justice to Sir Richard Baker, who, as 
our knight observed with some surprise, had a great many 
kings in him whose monuments he had not seen in the 

For my own part, I could not but be pleased to see 


the knight show such an honest passion for the glory of 
his country and such a respectful gratitude to the mem- 
ory of its princes. 

I must not omit that the benevolence of my good old 
friend, which flows out towards every one he converses 
with, made him very kind to our interpreter, whom he 
looked upon as an extraordinary man; for which reason 
he shook him by the hand at parting, telling him that he 
should be very glad to see him at his lodgings in Nor- 
folk Buildings, and talk over these matters with him more 
at leisure. L. 

[Spectator No. 335. Tuesday, March 25, 1712. 

Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo 
Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.* 

— Horace. 

My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met 
together at the club, told me that he had a great mind to 
see the new tragedy with me, assuring me, at the same 
time, that he had not been at a play these twenty years. 
^^The last I saw," said Sir Eoger, "was The Committee, 
which I should not have gone to, neither, had I not been 
told beforehand that it was a good Church of England 
comedy." He then proceeded to inquire of me who this 
Distressed Mother was, and, upon hearing that she was 
Hector's widow, he told me that her husband was a brave 
man, and that when he was a school-boy he had read his 
life at the end of the dictionary. My friend asked me, 
in the next place, if there would not be some danger in 
coming home late, in case the Mohocks should be abroad. 
"I assure you," says he, "I thought I had fallen into 
their hands last night, for I observed two or three lusty 

* "Keep Nature's great original in view, 

And thence the living images pursue." — ^Francis. 


black men that followed me half way up Fleet Street, and 
mended their pace behind me in proportion as I put on 
to get away from them. You must know," continued the 
knight, with a smile, ^T fancied they had a mind to hunt 
me, for I remember an honest gentleman in my neigh- 
borhood who was served such a trick in King Charles the 
Second's time; for which reason he has not ventured 
himself in town ever since. I might have shown them 
very good sport had this been their design; for, as I am 
an old fox-hunter, I should have turned and dodged, and 
have played them a thousand tricks they had never seen 
in their lives before." Sir Eoger added that if these gen- 
tlemen had any such intention they did not succeed very 
well in it; "for I threw them out," says he, "at the end 
of Norfolk Street, where I doubled the comer and got 
shelter in my lodgings before they could imagine what 
had become of me. However," says the knight, "if Cap- 
tain Sentry will make one with us to-morrow night, and 
if you will both of you call upon me about four o'clock, 
that we may be at the house before it is full, I will have 
my own coach in readiness to attend you, for John tells 
me he has got the fore wheels mended." 

The captain, who did not fail to meet me there at the 
appointed hour, bid Sir Eoger fear nothing, fo.r that he 
had put on the same sword which he made use of at the 
battle of Steenkirk. Sir Roger's servants, and among the 
rest my old friend the butler, had, I found, provided them- 
selves with good oaken plants to attend their master upon 
this occasion. When he had placed him in his coach, 
with myself at his left hand, the captain before him, and 
his butler at the head of his footmen in the rear, we con- 
voyed him in safety to the playhouse, where, after hav- 
ing marched up the entry in good order, the captain and 
I went in with him, and seated him betwixt us in the 
pit. As soon as the house was full, and the candles 
lighted, my old friend stood up and looked about him 
with that pleasure which a mind seasoned with human- 
ity naturally feels in itself at the sight of a multitude 


of people who seem pleased with one another and par- 
take of the same common entertainment. I could not 
but fancy to myself, as the old man stood up in the mid- 
dle of the pit, that he made a very proper center to a 
tragic audience. Upon the entering of Pyrrhus, the 
knight told me that he did not believe the King of France 
himself had a better strut. I was, indeed, very attentive 
to my old friend's remarks, because I looked upon them 
as a piece of natural criticism; and was well pleased to 
hear him, at the conclusion of almost every scene, telling 
me that he could not imagine how the play would end. 
One while he appeared much concerned for Andromache, 
and a little while after as much for Hermione; and was 
extremely puzzled to think what would become of Pyrrhus. 

When Sir Eoger saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to 
her lover's importunities, he whispered me in the ear 
that he was sure she would never have him; to which 
he added, with a more than ordinary vehemence, *^ou 
can't imagine, sir, what 'tis to have to do with a widow.'* 
Upon Pyrrhus his threatening afterward to leave her, the 
knight shook his head, and muttered to himself, "Aye, do 
if you can." This part dwelt so much upon my friend's 
imagination that at the close of the third act, as I was 
thinking of something else, he whispered in my ear, 
"These widows, sir, are the most perverse creatures in 
the world. But pray," says he, "you that are a critic, is 
this play according to your dramatic rules, as you call 
them? Should your people in tragedy always talk to be 
understood? Why, there is not a single sentence in this 
play that I do not know the meaning of." 

The fourth act very luckily begun before I had time to 
give the old gentleman an answer. "Well," says the 
knight, sitting down with great satisfaction, "I suppose 
we are now to see Hector's ghost." He then renewed 
his attention, and, from time to time, fell a-praising the 
widow. He made, indeed, a little mistake as to one of her 
pages, whom at his first entering he took for Astyanax; 
but he quickly eet himself right in that particular, though. 


at the same time, he owned he should have been very 
glad to have seen the little boy, ^'who/' says he, "must 
needs be a very fine child by the account that is given of 

Upon Hermione's going off with a menace to Pyrrhus, 
the audience gave a loud clap, to which Sir Eoger added, 
^^On my word, a notable young baggage!'' 

As there was a very remarkable silence and stillness 
in the audience during the whole action, it was natural 
for them to take the opportunity of these intervals be- 
tween the acts to express their opinion of the players and 
of their respective parts. Sir Eoger, hearing a cluster of 
them praise Orestes, struck in with them, and told them 
that he thought his friend Pylades was a very sensible 
man; as they were afterward applauding Pyrrhus, Sir 
Eoger put in a second time: '^And let me tell you," says 
he, "though he speaks but little, I like the old fellow in 
whiskers as well as any of them." Captain Sentry, see- 
ing two or three wags, who sat near us, lean with an at- 
tentive ear toward Sir Eoger, and fearing lest they should 
smoke the knight, plucked him by the elbow, and whis- 
pered something in his ear that lasted till the opening of 
the fifth act. The knight was wonderfully attentive to 
the account which Orestes gives of Pyrrhus his death, 
and, at the conclusion of it, told me it was such a bloody 
piece of work that he was glad it was not done upon the 
stage. Seeing afterward Orestes in his raving fit, he 
grew more than ordinary serious, and took occasion to 
moralize (in his way) upon an evil conscience, adding 
that Orestes in his madness looked as if he saw some- 

As we were the first that came into the house, so we 
were the last that went out of it; being resolved to have 
a clear passage for our old friend, whom we did not care 
to venture among the jostling of the crowd. Sir Eoger 
went out fully satisfied with his entertainment, and we 
guarded him to his lodgings in the same manner that we 
brought him to the playhouse; being highly pleased, for 


my own part, not only with the performance of the ex- 
cellent piece which had been presented but with the sat- 
isfaction which it had given to the old man. L. 

[Spectator No. 383. Tuesday, May 20, 1712. Addison.] 
Criminibus debent hortos .* 

— JirVENAL. 

As I was sitting in my chamber and thinking on a sub- 
ject for my next Spectator, I heard two or three irregular 
bounces at my landlady's door, and upon the opening of 
it, a loud, cheerful voice inquiring whether the philoso- 
pher was at home. The child who went to the door an- 
swered very innocently that he did not lodge there. \ I 
immediately recollected that it was my good friend Sir 
Roger's voice, and that I had promised to go with him 
on the water to Spring Garden, in case it proved a good 
evening. J The knight put me in mind of my promise 
from the bottom of the staircase, but told me that if I 
was speculating he would stay below till I had done. 
Upon my coming down, I found all the children of the 
family got about my old friend, and my landlady herself, 
who is a notable prating gossip, engaged in a conference 
with him, being mightily pleased with his stroking her 
little boy upon the head, and bidding him be a good 
child and mind his book. 

We were no sooner come to the Temple Stairs but we 
were surrounded with a crowd of watermen, offering us 
their respective services. Sir Roger, after having looked 
about him very attentively, spied one with a wooden leg, 
and immediately gave him orders to get his boat ready. 
As we were walking toward it, "You must know," says 
Sir Roger, "I never make use of anybody to row me 
that has not either lost a leg or an arm. I would rather 
bate him a few strokes of his oar than not employ an 

* "A beauteous garden, but by vice maintained." 


honest man that had been wounded in the Queen's service. 
If I was a lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would 
not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden leg." 

My old friend, after having seated himseK, and trimmed 
the boat with his coachman, who, being a very sober man, 
always serves for ballast on these occasions, we made the 
beet of our way for Fox-hall. Sir Roger obliged the 
waterman to give us the history of his right leg, and, 
hearing that he had left it at La Hogue, with many par- 
ticulars which passed in that glorious action, the knight 
in the triimaph of his heart, made several reflections on 
the greatness of the British nation; as, that one English- 
men could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never be 
in danger of popery so long as we took care of our fleet; 
that the Thames was the noblest river in Europe; that 
London Bridge was a greater piece of work than any of 
the seven wonders of the world; with many other hon- 
est prejudices which naturally cleave to the heart of a 
true Englishman. 

After some short pause, the old knight, turning about 
his head twice or thrice, to take a survey of this great 
metropolis, bid me observe how thick the city was set 
with churches, and that there was scarcely a single steeple 
on this side Temple Bar. *^A most heathenish sight!" 
says Sir Eoger; "there is no religion at this end of the 
town. The fifty new churches will very much mend the 
prospect; but church work is slow, church work is slowl" 

I do not remember I have anywhere mentioned, in Sir 
Roger's character, his custom of saluting everybody that 
passes by him with a good-morrow or a good-night. This 
the old man does out of the overflowings of his humanity, 
though at the same time it renders him so popular among 
all his country neighbors that it is thought to have gone 
a good way in making him once or twice knight of the 

He cannot forbear this exercise of benevolence even in 
town, when he meets with any one in his morning or eve- 
ning walk. It broke from him to several boats that passed 


by us upon the water; but to the knight's great surprise, 
as he gave the good-night to two or three young fellows 
a little before our landing, one of them, instead of return- 
ing the civility, asked us what queer old put we had in 
the boat, with a great deal of the like Thames ribaldry. 
Sir Roger seemed a little shocked at first, but at length, 
assuming a face of magistracy, told us that if he were a 
Middlesex justice he would make such vagrants know 
that her Majesty's subjects were no more to be abused by 
water than by land. 

We now arrived at Spring Garden, which is exquisitely 
pleasant at this time of year. When I considered the 
fragrancy 6i the walks and bowers, with the choirs of 
birds that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe of peo- 
ple that walked under their shades, I could not but look 
upon the place as a kind of Mahonfetan paradise. Sir 
Eoger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by 
his house in the country, which his chaplain used to call 
an aviary of nightingales, '^ou must understand,'' says 
the knight, "there is nothing in the world that pleases 
a man in love so much as your nightingale. Ah, Mr. 
Spectator ! the many moonlight nights that I have walked 
by myself and thought on the widow by the music of the 
nightingales!" He here fetched a deep sigh, and was 
falling into a fit of musing, when a mask, who came be- 
hind him, gave him a gentle tap upon the shoulder, and 
asked him if he would drink a bottle of mead with her. 
But the knight, being startled at so unexpected a fa- 
miliarity, and displeased to be interrupted in his thoughts 
of the widow, told her she was a wanton baggage, and 
bid her go about her business. 

We concluded our walk with a glass of Burton ale and 
a slice of hung beef. When we had done eating, our- 
selves, the knight called a waiter to him and bid him carry 
the remainder to the waterman that had but one leg. I 
perceived the fellow stared upon him at the oddness of 
the message, and was going to be saucy, upon which I 


ratified the knight's commands with a peremptory look. 
As we were going out of the garden, my old friend 
thinking himself obliged, as a member of the quorum, to 
animadvert upon the morals of the place, told the mistress 
of the house, who sat at the bar, that he should be a bet- 
ter customer to her garden if there were more nightin- 
gales and fewer masks. I. 

[Spectator No. 617. Thursday, October 23, 1712. 

Heu pietas! heu prisca fides! .* 

-— VntGiL. 

We last night received a piece of ill news at our club 
which very sensibly afflicted every one of us. I question 
not but my readers themselves will be troubled at the 
hearing of it. To keep them no longer in suspense. Sir 
Koger de Coverley is dead. He departed this life at his 
house in the country, after a few weeks' sickness. Sir 
Andrew Freeport has a letter from one of his correspond- 
ents in those parts, that informs him the old man caught 
a cold at the county-sessions, as he was very warmly pro- 
moting an address of his own penning, in which he suc- 
ceeded according to his wishes. But this particular comes 
from a Whig justice of peace, who was always Sir Soger's 
enemy and antagonist. I have letters both from the chap- 
lain and Captain Sentry which mention nothing of it, but 
are filled with many particulars to the honor of the good 
old man. I have likewise a letter from the butler, who 
took so much care of me last summer when I was at the 
knight's house. As my friend the butler mentions, in the 
simplicity of his heart, several circumstances the others 
have passed over in silence, I shaU give my reader a copy 
of his letter without any alteration or diminution. 

» **Alas for the charity ! alas for the old-time faith,*' 


"Honored Sir, 

"Knowing that you was my old Master's good Friend, I 
could not forbear sending you the melancholy News of his 
Death, which has afflicted the whole Country, as well as 
his poor Servants, who loved him, I may say, better than 
we did our Lives. I am afraid he caught his Death the 
last County Sessions, where he would go to see Justice 
done to a poor Widow Woman and her Fatherless Chil- 
dren, that had been wronged by a neighboring Gentle- 
man; for you know. Sir, my good Master was always the 
poor Man's Friend. Upon his coming home, the first 
Complaint he made was, that he had lost his Koast-Beef 
Stomach, not being able to touch a Sirloin, which was 
served vp according to Custom; and you know he used 
to take great Delight in it. From that time forward 
he grew worse and worse, but still kept a good Heart to 
the last. Indeed, we were once in great Hope of his Re- 
covery, upon a kind Message that was sent him from the 
Widow Lady whom he had made love to the Forty last 
Tears of his Life; but this only proved a Lightening be- 
fore Death. He has bequeathed to this Lady, as a token 
of his Love, a great Pearl Necklace, and a Couple of 
Silver Bracelets set with Jewels, which belonged to my 
good old Lady his Mother: He has bequeathed the fine 
white Gelding, that he used to ride a-hunting upon, to 
his Chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him, 
and has left you all his Books. He has, moreover, be- 
queathed, to the Chaplain a very pretty Tenement with 
good Lands about it. It being a very cold Day when he 
made his Will, he left for Mourning, to every Man in the 
Parish, a great Frize-Coat, and to every Woman a black 
Kiding-hood. It was a most moving Sight to see him 
take leave of his poor Servants, commending us all for 
our Fidelity, whilst we were not able to speak a Word 
for weeping. As we most of us are grown Gray-headed 
in our Dear Master's Service, he has left us Pensions and 
Legacies, which we may live very comfortably upon, the 
remaining part of our Days. He has bequeathed a great 


deal more in Charity, wliich is not yet come to my 
Knowledge, and it is peremptorily said in the Parish, that 
he has left Mony to build a Steeple to the Church ; for he 
was heard to say some time ago, that if he lived two 
Years longer, Coverley Church should have a Steeple to 
it. The Chaplain tells everybody that he made a very 
good End, and never speaks of him without Tears. He 
was buried according to his own Directions, among the 
Family of the Coverlies, on the Left Hand of his Fv.\tr, 
Sir Arthur. The Coffin was carried by Six of his .^'^n- 
ants, and the Pall held up by Six of the Quorum: The 
whole Parish foUow'd the Corps with heavy Hearts, and 
in their Mourning Suits, the Men in Prize, and the 
Women in Eiding-Hoods. Captain Sentry, my Master's 
Nephew, has taken Possession of the Hall-House, and the 
whole Estate. When my old Master saw him a little be- 
fore his Death, he shook him by the Hand, and wished 
him Joy of the Estate which was falling to him, desiring 
him only to make good Use of it, and to pay the several 
Legacies, and the Gifts of Charity which he told him 
he had left as Quit-rents upon the Estate. The Captain 
truly seems a courteous Man, though he says but little. 
He makes much of those whom my Master loved, and 
shews great Kindness to the old House-dog, that you 
know my poor Master was so fond of. It would have 
gone to your Heart to have heard the Moans the dumb 
Creature made on the Day of my Master's Death. He 
has ne'er joyed himself since; no more has any of us. 
'Twas the melancholiest Day for the poor People that 
ever happened in Worcestershire. This being all from, 
"Honored Sir, 

"Your most Sorrowful Servant, 

"Edward Biscuit." 

'T. 8. My Master desired, some Weeks before he died, 
that a Book which comes up to you by the Carrier should 
be given to Sir Andrew Freeport, in his Name.'' 


This letter, notwithstanding the poor butler's manner 
of writing it, gave us such an idea of our good old friend 
that upon the reading of it there was not a dry eye in 
the club. Sir Andrew, opening the book, found it to be 
a collection of Acts of Parliament. There was in par- 
ticular the Act of Uniformity, with some passages in it 
marked by Sir Roger's own hand. Sir Andrew found 
that they related to two or three points which he had dis- 
puted with Sir Eoger the last time he appeared at the 
club. Sir Andrew, who would have been merry at such 
an incident on another occasion, at the sight of the old 
man's handwriting burst into tears, and put the book 
into his pocket. Captain Sentry informs me that the 
knight has left rings and mourning for every one in 
the club. O. 

[The Freeholder No. 22. Monday, March 6, 1716. 

Studiis rudis, sermone barbarus, impetu strenuus, manu 
promptus, cogitatione celer.^*^ — ^Vell. Paterc. 

For the honor of his Majesty, and the safety of his 
government, we cannot but observe, that those who have 
appeared the greatest enemies to both, are of that rank 
of men, who are commonly distinguished by the title of 
Foxhunters. As several of these have had no part of 
their education in cities, camps, or courts, it is doubtful 
whether they are of greater ornament or use to the na- 
tion in which they live. It would be an everlasting re- 
proach to politics, should such men be able to overturn 
an establishment which has been formed by the wisest 
laws, and is supported by the ablest heads. The wrong 
notions and prejudices which cleave to many of these 
country gentlemen, who have always lived out of the way 
of being better informed, are not easy to be conceived by 
a person who has never conversed with them. 

* Uncultivated in taste, rude in speech, restlessly impetuoil9» 
quick to blows, hasty in thought. 


That I may give my readers an image of these rural 
statesm.en, I shall, without farther preface, set down an 
account of a discourse I chanced to have with one of them 
some time ago. I was traveling towards one of the re- 
mote parts of England, when about three o'clock in the 
afternoon, seeing a country gentleman trotting before 
me with a spaniel by his horse's side, I made up to him. 
Our conversation opened, as usual, upon the weather; in 
which we were very unanimous; having both agreed that 
it was too dry for the season of the year. My fellow- 
traveler, upon this, observed to me, that there had been 
no good weather since the Eevolution. I was a little 
startled at so extraordinary a remark, but would not in- 
terrupt him till he proceeded to tell me of the fine weather 
they used to have in King Charles the Second's reign. 
I only answered that I did not see how the badness of 
the weather could be the king's fault; and, without wait- 
ing for his reply, asked him whose house it was we saw 
upon a rising ground at a little distance from us. He 
told me it belonged to an old fanatical cur, Mr. Such-a- 
one. 'TTou must have heard of him," says he, ^Tie's one 
of the Eump." I knew the gentleman's character upon 
hearing his name, but assured him that to my knowledge 
he was a good churchman: "Aye!" says he with a kind 
of surprise, "We were told in the country, that he spoke 
twice in the queen's time against taking off the duties 
upon French claret." This naturally led us in the pro- 
ceedings of late Parliaments, upon which occasion he af- 
firmed roundly, that there had not been one good law 
passed since King William's accession to the throne, 
except the act for preserving the game. I had a mind 
to see him out, and therefore did not care for contra- 
dicting him. 'T[s it not hard," says he, "that honest gen- 
tlemen should be taken into custody of messengers to 
prevent them from acting according to their consciences ? 
But," says he, "what can we expect when a parcel of fac- 
tious sons of " He was going on in great passion, but 

chanced to miss his dog, who was amusing himself about 


a bush, that grew at some distance behind us. We stood 
still till he had whistled him up ; when he fell into a long 
panegyric upon his spaniel, who seemed indeed excellent 
in his kind: but I found the most remarkable adventure 
of his life was, that he had once like to have worried a 
dissenting teacher. The master could hardly sit on his 
horse for laughing all the while he was giving me the 
particulars of this story, which I found had mightily 
endeared his dog to him, and as he himself told me, had 
made him a great favorite among all the honest gentle- 
men of the country. We were at length diverted from 
this piece of mirth by a post-boy, who winding his horn 
at us, my companion gave him two or three curses, and 
left the way clear for him. '^I fancy," said I, "that post 
brings news from Scotland. I shall long to see the next 
Gazette." "Sir," says he, "I make it a rule never to be- 
lieve any of your printed news. We never see, sir, how 
things go, except now and then in Dyer's Letter, and I 
read that more for the style than the news. The man has 
a clever pen it must be owned. But is it not strange 
that we should be making war upon Church of England 
men, with Dutch and Swiss soldiers, men of anti-mon- 
archical principles? these foreigners will never be loved 
in England, sir; they have not that wit and good-breeding 
that we have." I must confess I did not expect to hear 
my new acquaintance value himself upon these qualifica- 
tions, but finding him such a critic upon foreigners, I 
asked him if he had ever traveled; he told me, he did 
not know what traveling was good for, but to teach a man 
to ride the great horse, to jabber French, and to talk 
against passive obedience: to which he added, that he 
scarce ever knew a traveler in his life who had not for- 
sook his principles, and lost his hunting-seat. "For my 
part," says he, "I and my father before me have always 
been for passive obedience, and shall be always for op- 
posing a Prince who makes use of ministers that are of 
another opinion. But where do you intend to inn to- 
night? (for we were now come in sight of the next town) 


I can help you to a very good landlord if you will go 
along with me. He is a lusty jolly fellow, that lives well, 
at least three yards in the girt, and the best Church of 
England man upon the road.'^ I had a curiosity to see 
this high-church inn-keeper, as well as to enjoy more of 
the conversation of my fellow-traveler, and therefore read- 
ily consented to set our horses together for that night. 
As we rode side by side through the town, I was let into 
the characters of all the principal inhabitants whom we 
met in our way. One was a dog, another a whelp, an- 
other a cur, and another the son of a bitch, under which 
several denominations were comprehended all that voted 
on the Whig side in the last election of burgesses. As 
for those of his own party, he distinguished them by a 
nod of his head, and asking them how they did by their 
Christian names. Upon our arrival at the inn, my com- 
panion fetched out the jolly landlord, who knew him by 
his whistle. Many endearments, and private whispers 
passed between them; though it was easy to see, by the 
landlord's scratching his head, that things did not go to 
their wishes. The landlord had swelled his body to a 
prodigious size, and worked up his complexion to a stand- 
ing crimson by his zeal for the prosperity of the church, 
which he expressed every hour of the day, as his cus- 
tomers dropped in, by repeated bumpers. He had not 
time to go to church himself, but, as my friend told me 
in my ear, had headed a mob at the pulling down of two 
or three meeting-houses. While supper was prepared, he 
enlarged upon the happiness of the neighboring shire; 
*Tor," says he, "there is scarce a Presbyterian in the 
whole county, except the bishop." In short, I found by 
his discourse that he had learned a great deal of politics, 
but not one word of religion, from the parson of his par- 
ish; and, indeed, that he had scarce any other notion of 
religion, but that it consisted in hating Presbyterians. I 
had a remarkable instance of his notions in this par- 
ticular. Upon seeing a poor decrepit old woman pass 
under the window where we sat, he desired me to take 


notice of her; and afterwards informed me, that she was 
generally reputed a witch by the country people, but that, 
for his part, he was apt to believe she was a Presbyterian. 
Supper was no sooner served in, than he took occasion, 
from a shoulder of mutton that lay before us, to cry up 
the plenty of England, which would be the happiest coun- 
try in the world, provided we would live within our- 
selves. Upon which, he expatiated on the inconveniences 
of trade, that carried from us the commodities of 
our country, and made a parcel of upstarts as rich as 
men of the most ancient families of England. He then 
declared frankly, that he had always been against all 
treaties and alliances with foreigners; *'Our wooden 
walls,'' says he, "are our security, and we may bid defi- 
ance to the whole world, especially if they should attack 
us when the militia is out." I ventured to reply, that I 
had as great an opinion of the English fleet as he had; 
but I could not see how they could be paid, and manned, 
and fitted out, unless we encouraged trade and naviga- 
tion. He replied with some vehemence that he would 
undertake to prove trade would be the ruin of the Eng- 
lish nation. I would fain have put him upon it; but he 
contented himself with affirming it more eagerly, to which 
he added two or three curses upon the London merchants, 
not forgetting the directors of the Bank. After supper 
he asked me if I was an admirer of punch; and immedi- 
ately called for a sneaker. I took this occasion to insinu- 
ate the advantages of trade, by observing to him, that 
water was the only native of England that could be made 
use of on this occasion: but that the lemons, the brandy, 
the sugar, and the nutmeg were all foreigners. This put 
him into some confusion ; but the landlord, who overheard 
me, brought him off, by affirming, that for constant use, 
there was no liquor like a cup of English water, pro- 
vided it had malt enough in it. My squire laughed heart- 
ily at the conceit, and made the landlord sit down with 
us. We sat pretty late over our punch; and, amidst a 
great deal of improving discourse, drank the healths of 


several persons in the country, whom I had never heard 
of, that, they both assured me, were the ablest statesmen 
in the nation : and of some Londoners, whom they extolled 
to the skies for their wit, and who, I knew, passed in town 
for silly fellows. It being now midnight, and my friend 
perceiving by his almanac that the moon was up, he called 
for his horses, and took a sudden resolution to go to his 
house, which was at three miles' distance from the town, 
after having bethought himself that he never slept well 
out of his own bed. He shook me very heartily by the 
hand at parting, and discovered a great air of satisfac- 
tion in his looks, that he had met with an opportunity 
of showing his parts, and left me a much wiser man than 
he found me. 

[The Freeholder No. 44. Monday, May 21, 1716. 

Multaque prseterea variarum monstra ferarum 
Centauri in foribus stabulant, Scyllseque biformes, 
Et centum geminus Briareus, ac bellua Lernse, 
Horrendum stridens, flammisque armata Chimaera, 
Gorgones, Harpyiaeque, et forma tricorporis umbrae. 
Corripit hie subita trepidus formidine ferrum 
^neas, strictamque aciem venientibus offert. 
Et in docta comes tenues sinex corpore vitas 
Admoneat volitare cava sub imagine tormse, 
Irruant, et frustra ferro diverberet umbras.^ — ^Virg. 

As I was last Friday taking a walk in the park, I saw 
a country gentleman at the side of Rosamond's pond, 
pulling a handful of oats out of his pocket, and with a 

^ There are the phantoms, besides, of a myriad monsters prodigious ; 
Centaurs abide at the gates, with Scylla, half beast and half numan, 
Hundred-handed Briareus, too, and the Dragon of Lerna, 
Horribly hissing; and, armed with breathings of flame, the 

Chimaera ; 
Gorgons, and Harpies dire, and Geryon's three-headed spectre. 
Here, ^Eneas, in sudden alarm unsheathing his dagger. 
Flashes the naked blade in defiance of all who approach him ; 
And did his wiser guide not warn him that light, unsubstantial 
Beings are flitting about in the shadowy semblance of bodies, 
He would attack with the sword, and vainly strike shadows asunder. 


great deal of pleasure, gathering the ducks about him. 
Upon my coming up to him, who should it be but my 
friend the foxhunter, whom I gave some account of in 
my twenty-second paper! I immediately joined him; and 
partook of his diversion, till he had not an oat left in his 
pocket. We then made the tour of the park together, 
when after having entertained me with the description of 
a decoy-pond that lay near his seat in the country, and of 
a meeting-house that was going to be rebuilt in a neigh- 
boring market-town, he gave me an account of some very 
odd adventures which he had met with that morning; 
and which I shall lay together in a short and faithful his- 
tory, as well as my memory will give me leave. 

My friend, who has a natural aversion to London, 
would never have come up, had not he been subpoenaed 
to it, as he told me, in order to give his testimony for 
one of the rebels, whom he knew to be a very fair sports- 
man. Having traveled all night, to avoid the inconven- 
iences of dust and heat, he arrived with his guide, a little 
after break of day, at Charing Cross; where, to his great 
surprise, he saw a running footman carried in a chair, 
followed by a waterman in the same kind of vehicle. He 
was wondering at the extravagance of their masters, that 
furnished them with such dresses and accommodations, 
when on a sudden he beheld a chimney-sweeper, con- 
veyed after the same manner, with three footmen run- 
ning before him. During his progress through the 
Strand, he met with several other figures no less wonder- 
ful and surprising. Seeing a great many in rich morn- 
ing-gowns, he was amazed to find that persons of quality 
were up so early: and was no less astonished to see many 
lawyers in their bar-gowns, when he knew by his almanac 
the term was ended. As he was extremely puzzled and 
confounded in himself what all this should mean, a hack- 
ney-coach chancing to pass by him, four bats popped out 
their heads all at once, which very much frighted both 
him and his horse. My friend, who always takes care to 
cure his horse of such starting fits, spurred him up to 


the very side of the coach, to the no small diversion of 
the bats; who, seeing him with his long whip, horse-hair 
periwig, jockey-belt, and coat without sleeves, fancied him 
to be one of the masqueraders on horseback, and received 
him with a loud peal of laughter. His mind being full 
of idle stories, which are spread up and down the na- 
tion by the disaffected, he immediately concluded that all 
the persons he saw in these strange habits were foreign- 
ers, and conceived a great indignation against them, for 
pretending to laugh at an English country-gentleman. 
But he soon recovered out of his error, by hearing the 
voices of several of them, and particularly of a shep- 
herdess quarreling with her coachman, and threatening 
to break his bones in very intelligible English, though 
with a masculine tone. His astonishment still increased 
upon him, to see a continued procession of harlequins, 
scaramouches, punchineUos, and a thousand other merry 
dresses, by which people of quality distinguish their wit 
from that of the vulgar. 

Being now advanced as far as Somerset House, and 
observing it to be the great hive whence this swarm of 
chimeras issued forth from time to time, my friend took 
his station among a cluster of mob, who were making 
themselves merry with their betters. The first that came 
out was a very venerable matron, with a nose and chin, 
that were within a very little of touching one another. 
My friend, at the first view fancying her to be an old 
woman of quality, out of his good breeding put off his hat 
to her, when the person pulling off her mask, to his great 
surprise appeared a smock-faced young fellow. His at- 
tention was soon taken off from this object, and turned to 
another that had very hollow eyes and a wrinkled face, 
which flourished in all the bloom of fifteen. The white- 
ness of the lily was blended in it with the blush of the 
rosa He mistook it for a very whimsical kind of mask; 
but upon a nearer view he found that she held her vizard 
in her hand, and that what he saw was oniy her natural 


countenance, touched up with the usual improvements 
of an aged coquette. 

The next Y^ho showed herself was a female quaker, so 
very pretty, that he could not forbear licking his lips, and 
saying to the mob about him, ^^It is ten thousand pities 
she is not a church-woman." The quaker was followed 
by half a dozen nuns, who filed off one after another up 
Catherine Street, to their respective convents in Drury 

The squire observing the preciseness of their dress, 
began now to imagine after all, that this was a nest of 
sectaries; for he had often heard that the town was full 
of them. He was confirmed in this opinion upon seeing 
a conjuror, whom he guessed to be the holderforth. How- 
ever, to satisfy himself he asked a porter, who stood next 
him, what religion these people were of? The porter re- 
plied, "They are of no religion; it is a masquerade." 
"Upon that (says my friend), I began to smoke that they 
were a parcel of mummers" ; and being himself one of the 
quorum in his own country, could not but wonder that 
none of the Middlesex justices took care to lay some of 
them by the heels. He was the more provoked in the 
spirit of magistracy, upon discovering two very unseemly 
objects: the first was a judge, who rapped out a great 
oath at his footman; and the other a big-bellied woman, 
who upon taking a leap into the coach, miscarried of a 
cushion. What still gave him greater offense was a 
drunken bishop, who reeled from one side of the court 
to the other, and was very sweet upon an Indian queen. 
But his worship, in the midst of his austerity, was molli- 
fied at the sight of a very lovely milk-maid, whom he be- 
gan to regard with an eye of mercy, and conceived a par- 
ticular affection for her, until he found, to his great 
amazement, that the standers-by suspected her to be a 

I must not conclude this narrative without mention- 
ing one disaster which happened to my friend on this oc« 
casion. Having for his better convenience dismounted. 


and mixed among tte crowd, lie found, upon his arrival 
at the inn, that he had lost his purse and his almanac. 
And though it is no wonder such a trick should be played 
him by some of the curious spectators, he cannot beat it 
out of his head, but that it was a cardinal who picked his 
pocket, and that this cardinal was a Presbyterian in dis* 

[The Freeholder No. 45. FRroAY, May 25, 1716. 


Nimium risus pretium est si probitatis impendio constat.* 


I have lately read, with much pleasure, the essays 
upon several subjects published by Sir Eichard Blackmore; 
and though I agree with him in many of his excellent ob- 
servations, I cannot but take that reasonable freedom, 
which he himself makes use of with regard to other writ- 
ers, to dissent from him in some few particulars. In his 
reflections upon works of wit and humor, he observes how 
unequal they are to combat vice and folly; and seems to 
think, that the finest raillery and satire, though directed 
by these generous views, never reclaimed one vicious man, 
or made one fool depart from his folly. 

This is a position very hard to be contradicted, be- 
cause no author knows the number or names of his con- 
verts. As for the Tatlers and Spectators in particular, 
which are obliged to this ingenious and useful author for 
the character he has given of them, they were so gener- 
ally dispersed in single sheets, and have since been 
printed in so great numbers, that it is to be hoped they 
have made some proselytes to the interests, if not to the 
practise of wisdom and virtue, among such a multitude 
of readers. 

I need not remind this learned gentleman, that Socrates, 

1 The price of a laugh is too great if it involves the sacrifice 
of propriety. 


who wa8 the greatest propagator of morality in the 
heathen world, and a martyr for the unity of the God- 
head, was so famous for the exercise of this talent among 
the politest people of antiquity, that he gained the name 
of ( oEipcov ) the Droll. 

There are very good effects which visibly arose from 
the above-mentioned performances, and others of the like 
nature; as, in the first place, they diverted raillery from 
improper objects, and gave a new turn to ridicule, which 
for many years had been exerted on persons and things 
of a sacred and serious nature. They endeavored to make 
mirth instructive, and if they failed in this great end, 
they must be allowed at least to have made it innocent. 
If wit and humor begin again to relapse into their for- 
mer licentiousness, they can never hope for approbation 
from those who know that raillery is useless when it has 
no moral under it, and pernicious when it attacks any- 
thing that is either unblamable or praiseworthy. To this 
we may add, what has been commonly observed, that it 
is not difficult to be merry on the side of vice, as serious 
objects are the most capable of ridicule; as the party, 
which naturally favors such a mirth, is the most numer- 
ous; and as there are the most standing jests and pat- 
terns for imitation in this kind of writing. 

In the next place : such productions of wit and humor, 
as have a tendency to expose vice and folly, furnish use- 
ful diversions to all kinds of readers. The good or pru- 
dent man may, by these means, be diverted, without 
prejudice to his discretion or morality, Eaillery, under 
such regulations, unbends the mind from serious studies 
and severer contemplations, without throwing it off from 
its proper bias. It carries on the same design that is 
promoted by authors of a graver turn, and only does it 
in another manner. It also awakens reflection in those 
who are the most indifferent in the cause of virtue or 
knowledge, by setting before them the absurdity of such 
practises as are generally unobserved, by reason of their 
being common or fashionable; nay, it sometimes catches 


the dissolute and abandoned before they are aware of it; 
who are often betrayed to laugh at themselves, and upon 
reflection find, that they are merry at their own expense. 
I might farther take notice, that by entertainments of 
this kind, a man may be cheerful in solitude, and not be 
forced to seek for company every time he has a mind to 
be merry. 

The last advantage I shall mention from compositions 
of this nature, when thus restrained, is, that they show 
wisdom and virtue are far from being inconsistent with 
politeness and good humor. They make morality appear 
amiable to people of gay dispositions, and refute the com- 
mon objection against religion, which represents it as only 
fit for gloomy and melancholy tempers. It was the motto 
of a bishop very eminent for his piety and good works 
in King Charles the Second's reign, Inservi Deo et Icetare, 
Serve God and be cheerful. Those therefore who supply 
the world with such entertainments of mirth as are in- 
structive, or at least harmless, may be thought to deserve 
well of mankind; to which I shall only add, that they 
retrieve the honor of polite learning, and answer those 
sour enthusiasts who affect to stigmatize the finest and 
most elegant authors, both ancient and modern (which 
they have never read) as dangerous to religion, and de- 
structive of all sound and saving knowledge. 

Our nation are such lovers of mirth and humor, that 
it is impossible for detached papers, which come out on 
stated days, either to have a general run, or long con- 
tinuance, if they are not diversified, and enlivened from 
time to time, with subjects and thoughts, accommodated 
to this taste which so prevails among our countrymen. 
No periodical author, who always maintains his gravity, 
and does not sometimes sacrifice to the Graces, must ex- 
pect to keep in vogue for any considerable time. Po- 
litical speculations in particular, however just and im- 
portant, are of so dry and austere a nature, that they will 
not go down with the public without frequent seasonings 
of this kind. The work may be well performed, but will 


never take, if it is not set off with proper scenes and 
decorations. A mere politician is but a dull companion, 
and, if he is always wise, is in great danger of being tire- 
some or ridiculous. 

Besides, papers of entertainment are necessary to in- 
crease the number of readers, especially among those of 
different notions and principles; who by this means may 
be betrayed to give you a fair hearing, and to know what 
you have to say for yourself. I might likewise observe, 
that in all political writings there is something that grates 
upon the mind of the most candid reader, in opinions 
which are not conformable to his own way of thinking; 
and that the harshness of reasoning is not a little soft- 
ened and smoothed by the infusions of mirth and pleas- 

Political speculations do likewise furnish us with sev- 
eral objects that may very innocently be ridiculed, and 
which are regarded as such by men of sense in all parties ; 
of this kind are the passions of our stateswomen, and the 
reasonings of our foxhunters. 

A writer who makes fame the chief end of his endeav- 
ors, and would be more desirous of pleasing than of im- 
proving his readers, might find an inexhaustible fund of 
mirth in politics. Scandal and satire are never-failing 
gratifications to the public. Detraction and obloquy are 
received with as much eagerness as wit and humor. 
Should a writer single out particular persons, or point 
his raillery at any order of men, who by their profession 
ought to be exempt from it; should he slander the inno- 
cent, or satirize the miserable; or should he, even on the 
proper subjects of derision, give the full play to his mirth, 
without regard to decency and good manners; he might 
be sure of pleasing a great part of his readers, but must 
be a very ill man, if by such a proceeding he could please 


[The Freeholder No. 47. Friday, June 1, 1Y16. 

Cessit furor, et rabida ora quierunt.* — ^ViEG. 

I question not but most of my readers will be very 
well pleased to hear, that my friend the foxhunter, of 
whose arrival in town I gave notice in my forty-fourth 
paper, is become a convert to the present establishment, 
and a good subject to King George. The motives to his 
conversion shall be the subject of this paper, as they may 
be of use to other persons who labor under those preju- 
dices and prepossessions, which hung so long upon the 
mind of my worthy friend. These I had an opportunity 
of learning the other day, when, at his request, we took 
a ramble together, to see the curiosities of this great town. 

The first circumstance, as he ingeniously confessed to 
me (while we were in the coach together) which helped to 
disabuse him, was seeing King Charles I. on horseback, 
at Charing Cross ; for he was sure that prince could never 
have kept his seat there, had the stories been true he had 
heard in the country, that forty-one was come about again. 

He owned to me that he looked with horror on the new 
church that is half built in the Strand, as taking it at 
first sight to be half demolished: but upon inquiring of 
the workmen, was agreeably surprised to find, that instead 
of pulling it down, they were building it up; and that 
fifty more were raising in other parts of the town. 

To these I must add a third circumstance, which I 
find had no small share in my friend's conversion. Since 
his coming to town, he chanced to look into the church 
of St. Paul, about the middle of sermon-time, where 
having first examined the dome, to see if it stood safe, 
(for the screw-plot still ran in his head) he observed, that 
the lord mayor, aldermen, and city sword were a part 
of the congregation. This sight had the more weight 

*Tlie uproar ceased, and the world forces were still. 


with him, as by good luck not above two of that venerable 
body were fallen asleep. 

This discourse held us till we came to the Tower; for 
our first visit was to the lions. My friend, who had a 
great deal of talk with their keeper, inquired very much 
after their health, and whether none of them had fallen 
sick upon the taking of Perth, and the flight of the Pre- 
tender? and hearing they were never better in their lives, 
I found he was extremely startled : for he had learned from 
his cradle, that the lions in the Tower were the best 
judges of the title of our British kings, and always sym- 
pathized with our sovereigns. 

After having here satiated our curiosity, we repaired 
to the Monument, where my fellow-traveler, being a well- 
breathed man, mounted the ascent with much speed and 
activity. I was forced to halt so often in this perpendicu- 
lar march, that, upon my joining him on the top of the 
pillar, I found he had counted all the steeples and towers 
which were discernible from this advantageous situation, 
and was endeavoring to compute the number of acres 
they stood upon. We were both of us very well pleased 
with this part of the prospect; but I found he cast an 
evil eye upon several warehouses, and other buildings, that 
looked like barns, and seemed capable of receiving great 
multitudes of people. His heart misgave him that these 
were so many meeting-houses, but, upon communicating 
his suspicions to me, I soon made him easy in this par- 

We then turned our eyes upon the river, which gave me 
an occasion to inspire him with some favorable thoughts 
of trade and merchandise, that had filled the Thames with 
such crowds of ships, and covered the shore with such 
swarms of people. 

We descended very leisurely, my friend being careful 
to count the steps, which he registered in a blank leaf 
of his new almanac. Upon our coming to the bottom, 
observing an English inscription upon the basis, he read 
it over several times, and told me he could scarce believe 


his own eyes, for tliat lie had often heard from an old at- 
torney, who lived near him in the country, that it was the 
Presbyterians who burned down the city; whereas, says 
he, this pillar positively affirms in so many words, that 
"the burning of this ancient city was begun and carried 
on by the treachery and malice of the Popish faction, in 
order to the carrying on their horrid plot for extirpating 
the Protestant religion, and old English liberty, and in- 
troducing Popery and slavery/' This account, which he 
looked upon to be more authentic, than if it had been in 
print, I found, made a very great impression upon him. 

We now took coach again, and made the best of our 
way for the Koyal Exchange, though I found he did not 
much care to venture himself into the throng of that 
place; for he told me he had heard they were, generally 
speaking, republicans, and was afraid of having his pocket 
picked amongst them. But he soon conceived a better 
opinion of them, when he spied the statue of King Charles 
II. standing up in the middle of the crowd, and most of 
the kings in Baker's Chronicle ranged in order over their 
heads; from whence he very justly concluded, that an 
antimonarchical assembly could never choose such a place 
to meet in once a day. 

To continue this good disposition in my friend, after 
a short stay at Stocks Market, we drove away directly 
for the Mews, where he was not a little edified with the 
sight of those fine sets of horses which have been brought 
over from Hanover, and with the care that is taken of 
them. He made many good remarks upon this occasion, 
and was so pleased with his company, that I had much 
ado to get him out of the stable. 

In our progress to St. James's Park (for that was the 
end of our journey) he took notice, with great satis- 
faction, that, contrary to his intelligence in the country, 
the shops were all open and full of business ; that the sol- 
diers walked civilly in the streets; that clergymen, in- 
stead of being affronted, had generally the wall given 
them; and that he had heard the bells ring to prayers 


from morning to night, in some part of the town or an- 

As he was full of these honest reflections, it happened 
very luckily for us that one of the King's coaches passed 
by with the three young princesses in it, whom by an ac- 
cidental stop we had an opportunity of surveying for 
some time : my friend was ravished with the beauty, inno- 
cence, and sweetness, that appeared in all their faces. He 
declared several times, that they were the finest children 
he had ever seen in all his life; and assured me that, 
before this sight, if any one had told him it had been 
possible for three such pretty children to have been born 
out of England he should never have believed them. 

We were now walking together in the park, and as it is 
usual for men who are naturally warm and heady, to be 
transported with the greatest flush of good nature when 
they are once sweetened; he owned to me very frankly, 
he had been much imposed upon by those false accounts 
of things he had heard in the country ; and that he would 
make it his business, upon his return thither, to set his 
neighbors right, and give them a more just notion of the 
present state of affairs. 

What confirmed my friend in this excellent temper of 
mind, and gave him an inexpressible satisfaction, was a 
message he received, as we were walking together, from 
the prisoner, for whom he had given his testimony in his 
late trial. This person having been condemned for his 
part in the late rebellion, sent him word that his Majesty 
had been graciously pleased to reprieve him, with sev- 
eral of his friends, in order, as it was thought, to give 
them their lives; and that he hoped before he went out 
of town they should have a cheerful meeting, and drink 
health and prosperity to King George. 


Each volume edited with an introduction by a leading 

American authority 

WILL D. HOWE, General Editor 

This series is composed of such works as are conspicuous in the 
province of literature for their enduring influence. Every volume 
is recognized as essential to a liberal education and will tend to in- 
fuse a love for true literature and an appreciation of the qualities 
which cause it to endure. 



By Henry David Thoreau 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Trinity College 

**. . . Here was a man who stood with his head in the clouds, 
perhaps, but with his feet firmly planted on rubble and grit. He 
was true to the kindred points of Heaven and Home. Thoreau's 
eminently practical thought was really concerned, in the last anal- 
ysis with definite human problems. The major question how to Hve 
was at the end of all his vistas." 


Selected and edited, with an Introduction, by 

Professor of English and Dean of the College University of 

"Among the shifting values in our literary history, Emerson stands 
secure. As a people we are rather prone to underestimate our native 
writers in relation to English and continental authors, but even 
among those who have been content to treat our literature as a by- 
product of British letters, Emerson's significance has become only 
more apparent with time." 



Selected and edited by 

Professor of English at Indiana University 

With the writings of these two remarkable essayists modem prose 
began. It is not merely that their style even to-day, after two cen- 
turies, commands attention, it is equally noteworthy that these 
men were among the first to show the possibilities of our language 
in developing a reading public. 


With an Introduction by 

Franklin and Edwards often sharply contrasted in thought are, 
however, in the main, complimentary to each other. In religion, 
Franklin was the utilitarian, Edwards the mystic. Franklin was 
more interested in practical morality than in revelation; Edwards 
sought a spiritual exaltation in religious ecstasy. In science Frank- 
lin was the practical experimenter, Edwards the detached observer, 
the theoretical investigator of causes. 


By Sir Walter Scott 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Columbia University 

Universally admitted one of the world's greatest story-tellers, 
"Bcott himself considered "The Heart of Midlothian" his master- 
piece, and it has been accepted as such by most of his admirers. 




By George Meredith 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati 

"The Ordeal of Richard Feverel," published in 1859, was Mere- 
dith's first modern novel and probably his best. Certainly it was, 
and has remained, the most generally popular of all this author's 
books and among the works of its type it stands pre-eminent. The 
story embodies in the most beautiful form the idea that in life the 
whole truth and nothing but the truth is best. 


With an Introduction, Notes, and Biographical Sketch by 

Professor of English at Cornell University 

"Good comedies," Meredith tells us, "are such rare productions 
that, notwithstanding the wealth of our literature in the comic 
element, it would not occupy us long to run over the English list." 

The "Essay on Comedy" is in a peculiarly intimate way the ex- 
position of Meredith's attitude toward life and art. It helps us to 
understand more adequately the subtle delicacies of his novels. 


Selected and edited, with an Introduction, by 

Professor of English at Leland Stanford University 

The essays in this volume include those of Wordsworth, Copleston, 
Jejffrey, Scott, Coleridge, Lockhart, Lamb, Hazlitt, Byron, Shelley, 
Newman, DeQuincey, Macaulay, Wilson, and Hunt. 



Selected and Edited by 

Professor of English at the University of Illinois 

The great age of the eighteenth century is, more than any other, 
perhaps, mirrored in its poetry, and this anthology reveals its man- 
ners and ideals. 

While the text of the various poems is authentic, it is not bur- 
dened with scholastic editing and marginal comment. The collec- 
tion and its form is one which satisfies in an unusual way the in- 
terest of the general reader as well as that of the specialist. 

By John Bunyan 

With an Introduction and Notes by 

This book is one of the most vivid and entertaining in the English 
language, one that has been read more than any other in our lan- 
guage, except the Bible. 

By Jane Austen 

With an Introduction by 

To have this masterpiece of realistic literature introduced by so 
eminent a critic as William Dean Howells is, in itself, an event in 
the literary world. We cannot better comment upon the edition 
than by quoting from Mr. Howells' s introduction: 

He says: **When I came to read the book the tenth or fifteenth 
time for the purposes of this introduction, I found it as fresh as when 
I read it first in 1889, after long shying off from it." 



Selected and Edited by 

Professor of English at Williams College 

Contains letters from William Blake, William Wordsworth, 
Sydney Smith, Robert Southey, Charles Lamb, Washington Irving, 
Benjamin Robert Haydon, John Keats, Jane Welsh Carlyle, Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, John Sterling, Abraham Lincoln, William Make- 
peace Thackeray, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold, 
Thomas Henry Huxley, George Meredith, "Lewis Carroll," Phillips 
Brooks, Sidney Lanier, and Robert Louis Stevenson. 


By Thomas Carlyle 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Vanderbilt University 

"Past and Present," written in 1843, when the industrial revolu- 
tions had just taken place in England and when democracy and 
freedom were the watchwords of liberals and progressives, reads like 
a contemporary volume on industrial and social problems, 


Abridged and edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by 

Professor of English at Princeton University 

Boswell has created one of the great masterpieces of the world. 
Seldom has an abridgment been made with as great skill in omit- 
ting nothing vital and keeping proper proportions as this edition by 
Professor Osgood. 


Selected, with an Introduction and Notes, by 

Late Professor of English Literature at Smith College 

These essays, the distilled wisdom of a great observer upon the 
affairs of common life, are of endless interest and profit. The more 
one reads them the more remarkable seem their compactness and 
their vitality. 

By George Eliot 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Vassar College 

With the publication of "Adam Bede'* in 1859, it was evident 
both to England and America that a great novelist had appeared. 
**Adam Bede*' is the most natural of George Eliot's books, simple 
in problem, direct in action, with the freshness and strength of the 
Derbyshire landscape and character and speech in its pages. 

By Robert Browning 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Washington University 

" *The Ring and the Book,' " says Dr. Padelford in his introduc- 
tion, "is Browning's supreme literary achievement. It was written 
after the poet had attained complete mastery of his very individual 
style; it absorbed his creative activity for a prolonged period; and it 
issued with the stamp of his characteristic genius on every page." 




With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at Yale University 

This volume includes not only essays in formal literary criticism^ 
but also of personal monologue and gossip, as well as philosophical 
essays on the greatest themes that can occupy the mind of man. All 
reveal the complex, whimsical, humorous, romantic, imaginative, 
puritanical personality now known everywhere by the formula 
R. L. S. 

By Thackeray 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at the University of Chicago 

"Pendennis" stands as a great representative of biographical 
fiction and reflects more of the details of Thackeray's life than all 
his other writings. Of its kind there is probably no more interesting 
book in our literature. 


By Thomas Hardy 

With an Introduction and Notes by 

Professor of English at Columbia University 

"The Return of the Native" is probably Thomas Hardy's great 
tragic masterpiece. It carries to the highest perfection the rare 
genius of the finished writer. It presents in the most remarkable 
way Hardy's interpretation of nature in which there is a perfect 
unison between the physical world and the human character. 



With an Introduction by 

Assistant Professor of English at University of Wisconsin 

"Ruskin," said John Stuart Mill, "was one of the few men in 
Europe who seemed to draw what he said from a source within him- 
self. "^^ Carlyle delighted in the "fierce lightning bolts" that Ruskin 
was "copiously and desperately pouring into the black world of 
anarchy all around him/' 

The present volume, by its wide selection from Ruskin's writings, 
affords an unusual insight into this remarkable man's interests and 

By Nathaniel Hawthorne 

With an Introduction by 

Professor of English at University of Illinois 

" *T^®. ^^^^'^* Letter' appears to be as safe from competitors 
as 'Pilgrim's Progress' or * Robinson Crusoe.' It is recognized as 
the classical treatment of its particular theme. Its symbols and 
scenes of guilt and penitence— the red letter on the breast of Hester 
Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale on the scaffold — have fixed themselves 
in the memory of men like the figure of Crusoe bending over the 
footprints in the sand, and have become a part of the common stock 
of images like Christian facing the lions in the way. 



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